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Motorcyclist thrown from bike and under lorry near NDR roundabout, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 08:45 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:14 24 October 2018

David Gooch, who died in a crash in Rackheath. Picture: Norfolk police/Family

David Gooch, who died in a crash in Rackheath. Picture: Norfolk police/Family

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A driver has recalled the moment she saw a motorcyclist thrown from his bike and underneath the wheels of a HGV at an inquest into his death.

Salhouse Road at Rackheath near the NDR roundabout, the scene of a serious crash involving a motorbike. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSalhouse Road at Rackheath near the NDR roundabout, the scene of a serious crash involving a motorbike. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

David Gooch, a carpenter from Honing, came off his bike and was seen to go underneath the back axle of a tipper truck on Salhouse Road, in Rackheath, on March 16 this year.

The 56-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the HGV, Dennis Ladbrook, and another driver who swerved to avoid Mr Gooch were uninjured.

At an inquest held in Norwich on Monday, Norfolk Coroner’s Court heard evidence from Andrea Burley, the driver of a blue Skoda who witnessed the crash.

She said: “The rider had lost control of their motorbike as it was zig-zagging left to right really fast.”

Salhouse Road at Rackheath near the NDR roundabout, the scene of a serious crash involving a motorbike. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSalhouse Road at Rackheath near the NDR roundabout, the scene of a serious crash involving a motorbike. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

She recalled swerving to avoid the motorbike and then looking back to see the motorcyclist come off their bike and go underneath the back axle of the truck.

She said she did not think the rider could have survived.

The driver of the truck, Mr Ladbrook, told the inquest how on the morning of March 16 he was in the process of turning right off the Salhouse Road, when he heard “a scraping sound”.

He said: “I saw a blue car coming towards me so I slowed down and stopped. I waited for the car to go past, eased off the clutch. Next thing I heard was a scraping noise and I looked in my mirrors, I couldn’t see anything but then as I went into the gateway I saw a motorcycle in the road and I stopped.”

The court also heard a report from PC Jamie Hutchins, a forensic collision investigator and a paramedic who attended the scene.

PC Hutchins said the HGV slowed down and was travelling at about 7mph at the time of the collision. He added that the lorry had slowed down and signalled to the right at which point Mr Gooch lost control of the motorcycle, subsequently falling to the offside towards the right and colliding with the carriageway.

Summing up the evidence, Jaqueline Lake, senior coroner for Norfolk, gave a conclusion of death caused by a road traffic accident, and said: “Mr Ladbrook has done all he could to avoid the collision.”

Following the inquest Lynne Whiteman, 47, Mr Gooch’s partner said she felt the inquest had bought “everything to a close”.

“I am pleased that we have come to the close of the process, I feel the police have been really respectful and sensitive towards us. The whole thing was tragic accident and now, we just need to find peace.”

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