“True gentleman” biker killed in tragic bike crash

Businessman Michael Rushworth, from Leyland. Died in a motorcycle crash on October 4, 2015.

Businessman Michael Rushworth, from Leyland. Died in a motorcycle crash on October 4, 2015.

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THE family of a Leyland businessman who died after losing control of his bike have paid tribute to a “true gentleman”.

Michael Rushworth, 53, died from multiple injuries after his black Honda Fireblade veered across the road and collided with a road barrier on the A6 link road in Bamber Bridge, Preston Coroner’s Court heard.

The incident, which happened at 4.25pm on October 4, 2015, saw Mr Rushworth suffer multiple fractures to the spine and skull before being taken to Royal Preston Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 5.45pm.

Coroner Simon Jones heard from eyewitness Andrew Clibburn how Mr Rushworth appeared to be experienced motorcyclist, who had been enjoying a “beautiful day” on the road.

Mr Clibburn, who was driving his van behind Mr Rushworth saw the incident unfold. He said: “I’ve been riding a motorbike for a long time and this was a great day to be riding. I moved over to let him overtake and I could tell he knew what he was doing. The way he went across the roundabout just before was perfect, he looked like an experienced rider. I have no idea what happened, there was no sign of losing control, the bike just keeled over.” Mr Clibburn then described pulling over to the side of the road and rushing to Mr Rushworth’s aid.

“I called 999 immediately and tried to speak to him but there was no response,” he said.

PC John Birch of Lancashire Police’s Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Mr Rushworth has turned one direction and then another very quickly. Combine that with the lip in the road, I believe the bike has gone in the air slightly and caused Mr Rushworth to lose control. He was travelling at between 55 and 65mph in a 50mph zone and wouldn’t have had a chance to react.”

In his conclusion, Mr Jones said Mr Rushford, of Stratfield Place, Leyland died due to multiple injuries in a road traffic collision.

“It appears he was an experienced motorcyclist and the cause of the accident is most likely a combination of changing direction quickly and the speed at which he did it. That and the lip in the road has caused him to lose control.”

A statement from Mr Rushworth’s family said: “We are all devastated. Michael was an experienced rider and was doing what he loved. He was a true gentleman.”