Speeding biker died after ploughing into pick-up truck on notorious road near Cockerham

Speed killed a young motorcyclist who died after a head-on crash on a Lancashire road once dubbed Britain's most dangerous, an inquest decided.

By Brian Ellis
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 4:55 am

Kyle Barlow, 24, was travelling too fast when he tried to take a sharp left-hand bend on the notorious A588 Lancaster to Poulton road at Cockerham, according to a police accident investigator.

The hearing in Preston was told Kyle's average speed at the scene of the crash with a Toyota Hilux pick-up truck was estimated at 71mph.

"A safe speed to get round that bend would probably have been about 50," said PC Barry Moore. Asked if it was speed that caused him to lose control, the officer said: "Yes."

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Kyle Barlow (left) with brother JayJay.

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Coroner Richard Taylor heard Kyle, of Samlesbury Avenue, Blackpool, had been riding a 600cc Yamaha R6 "sports bike” when he lost control on the bend and crossed over into the path of the truck.

The collision happened only six weeks after he had passed his test to ride a bike of that power.

A post mortem showed the cause of death had been "devastating brain injury." He had been flown by air ambulance to the Royal Preston Hospital, but had died 24 hours later having never regained consciousness.

The driver of the pick-up, Paul Lewis of Pilling, told the inquest he had been on his way to Preston and was behind two other vehicles as they negotiated the bend in the road.

"It's a winding road and quite a dangerous road if you don't know it," he said. "It's the national speed limit, but there are lots of people who do a lot more than that.

"The two vehicles in front got round that corner and, as I got up to it I could see the bike coming. I thought 'he's going at some speed there' and he was quite close to the (centre) line.”

Mr Lewis said the motorcyclist was “quite near” to hitting the first vehicle and was almost on the centre line when he missed the second.

"I thought 'he's going to hit me' and I braked and moved over as far as I possibly could, but unfortunately he didn't miss me.

"He lost control because he was braking hard. When you brake that hard on a motorbike it sits up and goes straight. He came straight across the road and straight into me."

PC Moore, from Lancashire Police’s forensic collision investigation unit, examined both vehicles involved in the collision and found no defects in either.

He said chevron signs on both sides of the road warned of a sharp bend. The pick-up truck had been travelling at 41 mph.

Coroner Richard Taylor said: "There was nothing else he (Mr Lewis) could do to avoid that collision. He did what he possibly could to try and avoid it.

"We can assume he (Kyle) had experience of less powerful bikes, but not a 600cc. It may be that Mr Barlow was a little inexperienced with the size, or speed, or power on the bike he was riding.

Truck driver Mr Lewis offered his condolences to Kyle’s family.

The Coroner reached a conclusion that death was due to a road traffic collision.