Driver 'could not avoid collision'

A motorcyclist died after he was struck by a car which was taking part in an all-night road rally, an inquest heard yesterday.Carl Rodwell, 35, of Bridge Close, Harleston, who was married with a young son, suffered multiple injuries in the accident on the A134 at Two Mile Bottom, near Lynford, at 4.

A motorcyclist died after he was struck by a car which was taking part in an all-night road rally, an inquest heard yesterday.

Carl Rodwell, 35, of Bridge Close, Harleston, who was married with a young son, suffered multiple injuries in the accident on the A134 at Two Mile Bottom, near Lynford, at 4.25am on December 9 last year.

The hearing at Norwich was told the driver of a Peugeot 106 could do nothing to avoid a collision with Mr Rodwell's Suzuki bike, which was at almost square-on to the road lane and halfway across the wrong carriageway.

Douglas Kingsley was participating in the Preston Charity Challenge, an organised navigational road rally which had begun at 10pm at Barton Mills and involved up to 60 cars following a course along mostly private and some public roads on the Norfolk and Suffolk border.


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Giving evidence, he said he was travelling towards Lynford when he saw a “flash of yellow” of the motorbike and almost immediately something went underneath the car.

Asked if he could have done anything to avoid a collision, he replied: “I don't think so. From the point I saw him there was no time to brake or steer, it was instantaneous.”

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He added that he had taken regular breaks during the evening and had cleaned his headlights.

His navigator, Benjamin Greenfield, said: “I heard an exclamation from Douglas, I looked up and in the lights of the car was a motorcycle, which was halfway or two-thirds in front of the car as if it had just come round a right-hand corner, it was getting on towards 90 degrees to the road.

“It was about five or 10 yards away and seemed to be leaning away from us.”

PC Keith Oldmeadow interviewed Mr Kingsley under caution at the scene and was told the motorbike had appeared from nowhere.

Both vehicles were examined and found to have no mechanical defects which could have contributed to the collision.

PC Derek Cant, who assessed the scene of the incident, concluded that Mr Rodwell had lost control of his motorcycle and ended up on its offside on the opposite side of the road.

“It's unknown why the motorcycle was on the wrong side of the road and its unknown why the driver was unable to see the motorcycle. Why it failed to react to the Peugeot is unknown, but the dirty condition of the Peugeot's headlight glass may have been a contributory factor.”

Recording a verdict of death by road traffic accident, Mr Armstrong expressed his sympathy to Mr Rodwell's family.

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