A MOTORCYCLIST overtaking at speeds of about 130mph died after crashing head-on into a car, killing the driver, an inquest heard today (Tuesday, January 21).
North Yorkshire east coroner Michael Oakley heard that Jennie Currer, 65, from Sacriston, County Durham, had been on a day trip to Helmsley, North Yorkshire, with her sister-in-law Beryl Williams on August 3 last year when their car was hit by a motorcycle being ridden by Gordon Bullock, 45, from Redcar.
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She said: “We were climbing a hill that was quite steep, and were nearly at the brow.
“I heard Jennie scream and I saw the motorbike which seemed to be up in the air – Jennie didn’t stand a chance.”
The crash left Mr Bullock’s Yamaha Genesis motorbike embedded in Mrs Currer’s Volkswagon Polo.
When the car came to a stop Mrs Williams tried to speak to Mrs Currer but she did not respond, and attempts to get her out of the car were unsuccessful before the vehicle burst into flames.
Mark Williams, from Helmsley (no relation to Mrs Williams), was driving towards the town with his wife when he noticed Mrs Currer approaching him.
He said: “As she came into view there was a flash of lightening behind me and then the bike was beside me as we were literally passing Mrs Currer.”
A post mortem confirmed that Mr Bullock died from severe head injuries and Mrs Currer died of severe head injuries and burns.
Traffic Constable David Taylor said: “The speedometer was showing 135mph, however further examination showed on impact it had been at 129mph.
“After impact the rear wheel lifted off the ground to record the higher speed.”
He said he believed Mr Bullock had either planned to overtake Mr Williams and had not seen Mrs Currer, or he had come up behind Mr Williams so quickly he had no choice but to pull out.
The inquest heard North Yorkshire County Council is to change the lines on the road to double white lines, so no overtaking would be allowed.
Mr Oakley said: “The white lines would be a warning to drivers. Quite why he was driving at the speed we do not know.”
He recorded narrative conclusions, saying that both died as a result of the collision when Mr Bullock’s motorbike was overtaking another car on the wrong side of the road.
Speaking after the inquest, Traffic Sergeant John Lumbard from North Yorkshire Police said: “The best way to deal with speeding is with our increased speed camera vehicles and with unmarked police cars patrolling.
“For some, education is never going to work because it is an adrenalin rush to push the bikes as much as they can.
“While sports bikes are made to go to these speeds we will always have incidents like this.”
The B1257 from Helmsley to Great Broughton is one of North Yorkshire's worst roads for motorcycle deaths and casualties.