Death crash unavoidable, says coroner

An experienced motorcyclist who died after crashing into a deer the day after his first anniversary with his partner could not have done anything to avoid the smash, a coroner said.

An experienced motorcyclist who died after crashing into a deer the day after his first anniversary with his partner could not have done anything to avoid the smash, a coroner said.

Gary Chamberlin, 46, of Brick Kiln Road in North Walsham, died from a skull fracture after a deer ran out of the hedge in Scottow Road, Lammas and darted in front of his motorbike, which had passed its MOT just three days before.

The loading shovel driver, who was on his way to work, was pronounced dead at the scene in September last year after paramedics failed to find a pulse.

At his inquest on Friday, various witnesses gave evidence, including his partner Sarah Ponder, Colin Heath, a van driver who saw the accident and Nigel Fielding, a police technical support officer who arrived at the scene shortly afterwards to assess the positioning of marks on the road, the motorbike, the deer, and Mr Chamberlin's body.


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Each witness said they believed that the father-of-two was a courteous and capable rider whose driving skills gave nobody any cause for concern.

Ms Ponder, who had known Mr Chamberlin for around for six years, said: 'He had been riding motorcycles since he was 14 or 15, as he did motocross with his brother. He was fine at riding it, because I sometimes got on the back and I wouldn't have done if I hadn't thought he was a good rider.

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'He got up and left for work in the usual way, and normally he sent a text to say he had arrived safely if he was taking the motorbike, but I was taking my son to his first day of nursery that day so I didn't realise he hadn't sent a text, and I found out later.'

Previously Mr Chamberlin's mother, Margaret said: 'Gary had been the happiest I had ever seen him since he met Sarah. For the last 12 months he had a permanent smile on his face. I have never seen such a love match.'

Mr Heath was driving his van behind Mr Chamberlin when he hit the deer. He said: 'It seemed like a large animal which came from the left hand side, the nearside. It came straight out in front of the motorbike.

'I saw the brake lights come on and it seemed from his position like he was trying to avoid it. I found the rider laying face down on the road. He wasn't erratic in any way, it was just unfortunate.'

Recording a verdict of death by road traffic incident, coroner William Armstrong said: 'It is very clear from all the evidence that he was a regular and very experienced motorcyclist. There is nothing Gary could have done to avoid the collision with the deer and it is clear from all the evidence that he would have died immediately. I want to express my deepest sympathy to all concerned.'

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