Popular Watton biker killed in crash may have been running late for work, inquest told

Norwich Coroner's Court. Picture: Denise Bradley

Norwich Coroner's Court. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

A popular young motorcyclist may have missed his lift to work before fatally crashing his bike, an inquest heard.

Jake Everett, 21, lived with his parents in Merton Road, Watton, and worked as an engineer in Newmarket.

He died after a crash involving a lorry and a van on the A1075 Thetford Road near Griston on his way to work on June 3 last year.

Police officer Lee Smart, a collision investigator, compiled a report after a number of witnesses who observed Mr Everett's manner of driving in the lead-up to the crash were interviewed.

They described Mr Everett as driving at a 'dangerous speed', overtaking and leaning into a corner 'as you would on a race bike'.

His mother Hayley told police that her son would often get a lift to work with a colleague at 6am.

But Mr Everett had been to the cinema in Norwich the night before, was not home until after 11pm and did not get up until after 6am.

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'When [Mrs Everett] did get up, she heard Jake's motorbike idling outside before she got into the shower,' said PC Smart.

The crash happened on a section of sweeping bends on the A1075, with the impact on the tightest of the bends at around 7.15am.

PC Smart said that Mr Everett's motorbike, travelling towards Thetford, had collided with the wheels of a Watton-bound lorry trailer.

Mr Everett was then struck by a van following the lorry, despite the van driver taking 'significant evasive action' and mounting the verge to try to avoid a collision.

Mr Everett was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) but died of multiple injuries.

'It's believed Jake may have missed his lift to work that morning and may have believed he was going to be late,' said PC Smart. 'That may explain why he was driving in a hurried and hazardous fashion.'

Lorry driver Craig Walker had told police: 'The rider had entered what was effectively a left-hand bend for him too quickly and strayed over the line.

'He was leaning over as you would on a race bike going round the corner.'

Collision investigators estimated that the bike, a silver Suzuki GSX, was travelling at 48mph when it fell over and slid for 60 metres.

Officers could not say with certainty whether Mr Everett was travelling above the 60mph speed limit when his motorbike struck the wheels of the lorry trailer.

The lorry was said to be travelling at 30mph and was in its own carriageway, but it was a narrow section of road.

No vehicle faults were identified, and the conditions were fine and dry.

The hearing was attended by family including Mr Everett's father Calvin and mother Hayley, who wept as evidence was heard.

Assistant coroner David Osborne concluded that Mr Everett died as the result of a road traffic collision.

More than 70 bikers last year took part in a tribute ride to bid farewell to Mr Everett.