Biker killed in Ashfield crash probably died ‘due to his own inexperience’

Flowers at the scene of the crash.

Flowers at the scene of the crash.

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A young Ashfield biker who died in a road crash probably lost his life due to his own inexperience, his inquest heard.

Craig Orme, of Elder Street, Kirkby, was riding his moped on Kirkby Road, Sutton when he was in a collision with a lorry and car, the hearing at Nottingham Council was told today.

Craig Orme died when his scooter was involved in  a road traffic  collision on Kirkby Road, Sutton, in September.

Craig Orme died when his scooter was involved in a road traffic collision on Kirkby Road, Sutton, in September.

Witnesses described how the 23-year-old lost control of the scooter he was riding as he overtook queueing cars, ploughing under the rear wheels of a HGV which was being driven towards him on Tuesday, September 2, at about 3.20pm.

The inquest heard that there had been a torrential downpour in the minutes leading up to the crash.

Kirkby Resident Lian Robinson said he had given way to allow the lorry to manoeuvre past parked cars when the accident occurred.

He said: “I was driving home to Kirkby where I live and as I approached Ravenshead it was like there was a wall of water – it wasn’t raining and then it was raining really heavily and this went on for at least the next 20 minutes.”

Flowers at the scene of the accident on Kirkby Road, Sutton.

Flowers at the scene of the accident on Kirkby Road, Sutton.

He described coming to a halt to let the truck through the narrow gap in the road and only realised there had been a collision when he heard the thump of Craig’s moped come to rest under him own vehicle.

Mr Robinson told the inquest: “It had lost momentum and had collided with my bumper. This was when I saw Craig coming down the road along the side of my car.”

The lorry driver, Christopher Mutter, said he regularly delivered in the area and was familiar with the road layouts.

He said: “I remember seeing the car stop to let me through and I proceeded forwards. I don’t think I saw anything, but I suddenly just knew that I had to stop. I opened my lorry door and saw the moped at the back of the car.”

Witness Paulo Carraro, from Manchester, described how Mr Orme’s moped had overtaken the van he was a passenger in, as well as the vehicle being driven by Mr Robinson.

He said he had seen Mr Orme’s rear brake lights on seconds before the bike skidded and he fell under the truck.

Mr Carraro said: “The moped was towards the centre of the road and I got the impression he was braking.

“I saw a lorry on the other side of the road and I thought ‘oh no’, because when I saw him losing his balance I immediately thought he could fall and get hit by the truck.”

Mr Orme was pronounced dead at the scene.

PC Andreas Hawrylak, a crash investigator with Nottinghamshire Police, said the bad weather had not played a significant part in Mr Orme’s death, nor had the fact the tyres on his scooter were partially deflated.

However, he said that, in his view, the accident had probably occurred because the Mr Orme had not fully appreciated either the distance of the vehicles or the hazard before him, due to his inexperience on the roads.

Concluding Mr Orme died in a road traffic collision, Mairin Casey, Nottingham coroner, said Mr Orme had died of multiple injuries.

Summing up, she said: “Craig failed to appreciate the distance ahead of him and he did not allow himself sufficient stopping room. He would not have suffered in a way some people do. He would have had no awareness from the time he came off his bike to the point of his death.

“Mr Mutter and Mr Robinson were driving safely and legally. There was nothing they could have done to avoid this collision. Here we have a young man who, in so many ways, was doing nothing wrong – it was his lack of experience and confidence.”

Speaking after the ruling, Mr Orme’s father, David said: “I don’t blame anyone for Craig’s death. I think with him being so young and so inexperienced, he just wasn’t looking far enough in front of him.”