Widow’s grief at ‘exceptional’ husband’s death in North Walsham

A widow paid tribute to her 'exceptional' husband yesterday, who was killed when a bus hit his motorcycle.

James Horne, known as Jim, was riding home from work along the B1145, North Walsham bypass, on August 4 last year, when a bus pulled out of the junction with Laundry Loke and hit his green Kawasaki KMX motorbike.

He died five days later in Addenbrooke's hospital.

Yesterday at the inquest into the 38-year-old's death, his family called for 'stringent measures' to stop coaches and buses exiting the junction.

Their concerns have been passed on to the police and Norfolk County Council.

The inquest came a day after the county council and the police launched a campaign to cut motorcyclist deaths.

Between January and mid-March this year 21 motorcyclists were seriously injured in Norfolk, compared to 10 last year.

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In a statement to the coroner's court, Mr Horne's wife, Lorna, described him as an 'exceptional' man and said the family was still struggling to deal with his loss.

It read: 'Jim was a rare individual who had a generous talent for making everyone he met feel special.

'He was modest, hard working and totally selfless. He was unfailingly kind to everyone he met.'

The statement said his wife had been left traumatised and 'bereft of her raison d'etre'.

Mrs Horne said her husband's mild manner 'belied the rockstar within' and said his first love was the guitar.

The bus was driven by Scott Dorrington, 31, of Calthorpe Close, Stalham who, on January 9, at Norwich Magistrates' Court, admitted causing death by careless driving.

In February he appealed his sentence at Norwich Crown Court and his driving ban was reduced from two years to 18 months, while a requirement made by magistrates for him to take a driving test at the end of his suspension was dropped.

Yesterday he told Mr Horne's family: 'I just wish to say how sorry I am. I am just really, really sorry.'

Mr Horne, 38, was riding home from work as a lorry driver with PO Almey, based in Antingham at 5.20pm, when Dorrington, who had just had an hour's break, pulled out of the industrial estate in his single-decker Optare bus.

The classical and rock guitarist from Edingthorpe, near North Walsham could do nothing to avoid the bus.

He was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital before being moved to Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge, where he died on August 9.

PC Ian Thexton from the serious collision investigation unit told the inquest the fault lay with Mr Dorrington.

Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said: 'I have been very moved at reading the statement (from the family).

'It is clear Jim was a very special young man. It is an enormous tragedy to his family, but the tragedy of his death can not take away the gift of his life.'

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