Fatal crash was caught on camera

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A MOTORCYCLIST who rigged a camera on the front of his machine ended up filming his own death smash on a moorland road near Clitheroe.

An inquest in Clitheroe heard that 39-year-old Dean Walkden died instantly after being thrown from his bike as he attempted to overtake a car that was turning right.

Police were able to recover footage from his mobile phone, which confirmed the car was indicating and had pulled to the centre of the road immediately before the fatal impact.

Witness David Morley told the inquest that he and his friend, Dean, had been planning the trip to North Yorkshire for several weeks. Dean, a metal fabricator, had made a device to hold his mobile camera on the front of his bike and the intention was to film Mr Morley and the trip.

But their journey on a sunny Sunday morning in July came to a sudden end as they travelled up Fell Road, out of Waddington.

Mr Morley told how he was leading the way and had overtaken a black BMW. He saw a silver car in front and was aware it was slowing down and then started to indicate to turn right. But instead of pulling in behind him, Mr Walkden attempted to overtake and seconds later hit the car on the driver’s side. He was thrown from his powerful Kawasaki ZX6R and died instantly as a result of multiple injuries.

A passenger in the car said it was like “an explosion”. Ann Forest said she and Graham Robbins were travelling the short distance to recover items from their caravan, which was stored on a local farm. She said she heard and saw nothing until there was a “terrible bang like an explosion” and they were both showered with glass. “It was a terrible shock,” she added.

Police accident investigator Steven Burgess said the device fitted to the bike to hold the mobile phone would not have affected the bike in any way.

“He was clearly a very skilled man,” said PC Burgess.

The inquest heard Mr Walkden’s Nokia phone was found in a ditch and handed to police experts who were able to recover the footage. The two bikes were seen parked at the roadside minutes before the collision and it was clear that was when they had started the recording.

The driver of the black BMW overtaken by the bikes and another car they had also passed confirmed the Ford Mondeo driven by Graham Robbins had been indicating to turn right at the time of the collision.

“The video shows Mr Walkden overtake the BMW and then overtake Mr Morley,” said PC Burgess. “It clearly shows the Mondeo was indicating to turn right.”

He added that there was no suggestion of excessive speed.

At the time of the accident Mr Walkden’s family described him as a man who lived life to the full who was never without a smile.

He lived with his long-term partner in Haslingden and worked for East Lancashire Fabrications in Accrington. As well as his full-time job he worked as a DJ and karaoke presenter through his company Platinum Presentations, which meant he was well-known throughout his local area.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Michael Singleton said photographs provided by PC Burgess showed no signs indicating the approaching junction, where the Mondeo was turning right. The officer said he would support the coroner if he reported the situation to the relevant highway authority.