Iain Hamilton: family of loving Preston dad get no answers on what caused fatal motorbike crash

An inquest has failed to shed light on why a "competent and confident" motorcyclist suffered a fatal crash.
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Father-of-four Iain Hamilton from Blackpool Road, Fulwood, died from traumatic chest injuries on Saturday, January 15, a short time after he came off his Husqvarna 701 Supermoto motorbike in Garstang Road, St Michael's.

>>>Click here to read tributes to the "loving, devoted and compassionate family man"

There was no other vehicle involved, and eyewitness Andrew Fig - who was travelling in the opposite direction - told Preston Coroner's Court how he saw Mr Hamilton's bike "just drop".

Iain HamiltonIain Hamilton
Iain Hamilton

What happened?

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Mr Hamilton was travelling on the A586 Garstang Road towards Garstang at around 1.30pm on that day. He went round a "quite gentle" right-hand bend, lost control and left the carriageway.

It was a road he had driven on many times and the conditions were described as fine and sunny.

The eye-witness

Mr Fig said: "There was no traffic. I could see a bike coming round the bend. I mentioned to my passenger that it was leaning over quite a lot, and then it seemed to just drop.

"I didn't see it deviate. I didn't notice anything untoward."

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He said he didn't believe the bike was speeding, adding: "It was very odd. It seemed to be coming round the bend quite smoothly, but then leaned left and went down."

Mr Fig and his colleague who are both gardeners, stopped at the scene where Mr Hamilton was taking his helmet off.

Mr Fig described Mr Hamilton as "shocked" but "chatting" and was able to give his name.

Although Mr Hamilton was able to talk, he didn't explain what had happened, and then the care was taken over by a passing off-duty nurse and her husband before an ambulance arrived.

Accident investigation

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PC Bernard Williams, a collision investigator for Lancashire Police, also gave evidence at the inquest.

He said there were no faults with the vehicle, and the road surface was dry with no contamination, and had the expected level of grip.

He did say that there were two "quite large" pot holes in the road, near to the centre of the lane, but "not on a line we'd expect a motorcylist to take".

He added: "There is no evidence at all a motorbike had been in contact with them, lost control because of them or served to avoid them.

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"If the bike had hit them, I wouldn't have expected him to get round the bend at all."

PC Williams also said there were no scrape marks around or near to the pot holes.

When asked about the road being gravelly by family members, PC Williams agreed that it was gravelly on the approach to the bend, but "if the bike hit a stone and had slipped away, I'd expect to see some marks on it."

The court heard that there was no suggestion Mr Hamilton was in ill-health when he set off on the journey.

Coroner Richard Taylor said: "There doesn't seem any reason for the apparent loss of control and I'm sorry for that."

He concluded the death was a Road Traffic Collision.