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Friday, 29 August 2014

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Wigton biker died after losing control on bend

An experienced motorcyclist died almost instantly when he lost control at high speed at a bend on the A6.

Andrew Kenneth Charters photo
Andrew Kenneth Charters

Andrew Charters, 30, was travelling north from Penrith to his home in Wigton on March 4, when the tragedy happened. The father-of-five was pronounced dead at the scene next to Bull’s Head Farm, near Calthwaite, after he was thrown from his Suzuki GSXR.

PC Phil Murray, a forensic collision investigator, said Mr Charters, on his first ride of the year, would have been out of practice at riding at estimated speeds of 100mph.

He said the bike was designed to accelerate and decelerate very quickly and riders needed to be “in the zone” with a high degree of concentration. During his investigation he had successfully ridden around the corner at 100mph.

“If what your are doing is demanding a lot from yourself and your bike you need to concentrate,” he said.

PC Murray said a skid mark suggested Mr Charters had realised he was going too fast to get around the bend and had tried to slow down by braking.

He said: “It has been a high-speed collision, there’s no doubt about that, on the approach to the corner there has been a realisation he’s been going too quick. He has tried to get the speed off but he has been unable to.”

Both rider and machine had struck a dry stone wall at the roadside.

The nature of the injuries were such that Mr Charters would not have been aware of what had happened and would not have suffered.

Robert Walker, of Sycamore Drive in Penrith, saw the motorcycle overtaking other vehicles. He said: “My impression of the speed was about 100mph but I appreciate a lot of motorcyclists have a lot of experience.

“I think it’s a bend that needs to be respected.”

Simon Walton, of Calthwaite, saw the Suzuki overtake him – the next time he saw Mr Charters was at the scene of the collision.

He said: “His helmet was still on but the visor was smashed. We rolled him onto his back and gave him CPR. I believe there was no sign of life when I got to him.”

Ian Smith, HM Coroner for south and east Cumbria, recorded a verdict of accidental death.

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