Longridge motorcyclist John Marsden died "taking evasive action" to avoid van in his path

John Marsden died in a road traffic collision in Cumeragh Road, Whittingham.
John Marsden died in a road traffic collision in Cumeragh Road, Whittingham.
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A motorcyclist died taking “evasive action” as a result of a white van performing a U-turn in his path, an inquest in Preston heard yesterday.

Preston Coroners Court heard on Monday (April 23) how Longridge biker John Marsden died in a road traffic collision on March 10, 2017, after he abandoned his Yamaha FSZ600 and collided with a white Ford Transit van in Cumeragh Lane, Whittingham.

Arena Coroner Mr R Taylor said: “John Marsden died on March 10, 2017, at Cumeragh Lane, Whittingham, from injuries sustained while taking evasive action from and being in collision with a vehicle attempting to perform a U-turn in his path.”

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The coroner heard from the driver of the white Ford Transit van, Michael Dryhurst, who explained that prior to the incident he had performed a U-turn in the mouth of Back Lane, just off Cumeragh Lane, before planning to turn right back into Cumeragh Lane.

He was being followed down Cumeragh Lane by traffic management operative Patrick Bocks in a Ford Transit tail lift van, who told the coroner he was “20 to 30 metres” behind.

The inquest heard how Mr Marsden had overtaken Mr Bocks’s van, who had “slowed right down” to “between five and 10mph” due to Mr Dryhurst performing the manoeuvre.

Mr Dryhurst described how he “looked left and right” before turning right back into Cumeragh Lane, inset, and then “left and right again” while making the manoeuvre.

Upon looking right for a second time, he said he laid eyes on Mr Marsden for the first time, who was sliding on the floor towards his van having abandoned his motorbike.

Mr Bocks saw the motorbike when it was overtaking beside the driver’s side window and thought “the biker realised there was a vehicle coming out and dropped his bike”, resulting in the bike ricocheting against his van.

Collision investigator for Lancashire Police, Jason Colclough, said “from the gauge marks in the road” Mr Marsden was travelling under the 40mph speed limit “between 31 and 37mph”.

PC Colclough said police reconstructions showed Mr Marsden and Mr Dryhurst would have had “around 130 metres” visibility of one another - and that Mr Marsden had decided to abandon his bike somewhere between 43 and 64 metres from the point of the collision.