West Norfolk biker killed in head-on crash, inquest told

Police signs on the side of the road at the scene of the crash near Hilborough.

Police signs on the side of the road at the scene of the crash near Hilborough. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A 60-year-old biker ploughed into an oncoming car after clipping the side of a lorry and losing control.

Ian Lodge, of Churchgate Way, Terrington St Clement, died after crashing his Yamaha Dragstar bike on July 2.

He had been to a bike shop in Watton with two friends that morning to have a look around, and they were riding to Swaffham for lunch when the tragedy unfolded on the A1065 at Hillborough.

Friend Stephen Lee, who had known Mr Lodge for around 35 years, told yesterday's inquest that Mr Lodge was at the rear of the three bikers.

Traffic was moderate and it was a sunny day when Mr Lodge lost control on a bend, after clipping the side of an oncoming lorry behind its cab.

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'He was in a good mood and looking forward to his lunch,' said Mr Lee. 'I can't understand what happened.'

He added Mr Lodge was always 'very careful' on his bike, but was not familiar with the road.

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Lorry driver Paul Johnson said he did not see Mr Lodge approaching, but when he looked in his mirrors he saw Mr Lodge crossing the white chevrons.

He pulled over and dialled 999 when he realised what happened.

Mr Lodge crashed head on into a Citroen Picasso, driven by Robin Wood, that had been following the lorry.

There was no evidence of speeding.

PC Paul Scott said that prescription medicines that Mr Lodge had been taking may have affected his reactions, and he may have braked, causing his bike to move into the bend.

Norfolk coroner Jacqeline Lake stressed that neither the lorry driver nor the car driver were at fault.

She added it was not known why Mr Lodge had collided with the lorry, and concluded that he died as the result of a road traffic collision.

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