Loose stones on road cost biker his life – coroner

David Anderson
David Anderson

Loose stones on a road cost a motorbike rider his life as he visited the course of the Ulster Grand Prix road race for an Easter break, a coroner has found.

At an inquest in Coleraine yesterday into the death of 42-year-old father-of-two David Anderson from Ashbourne Park in the town, coroner Brian Sherrard’s findings were that the motorbike slid out of control and struck a fence.

The coroner said that Mr Anderson suffered chest injuries which caused his rapid death at the scene.

Mr Sherrard passed on his condolences to Mr Anderson’s family and friends, and said people should now remember his life and how important he was to many people.

Mr Sherrard said: “We have lost somebody who was a partner, a father and a brother, and we as a community have lost someone.”

He found that shortly after 4pm on April 5 last year Mr Anderson was riding a motorcycle on the Tornagrough Road in the direction of Belfast when, on a left hand bend, the motorbike braked severely and, after striking loose stones, slid on the road causing both the bike and Mr Anderson to collide with a fence.

The coroner said an issue brought to his attention was whether Mr Anderson was fit to be on the road as a result of medication and other medical conditions but he said he wished to put it on the record he had no concerns in those regards.

Mr Anderson had been out for a drive with five other motorcyclists.

One of the bikers, Billy Cooke, told the inquest he had been friendly with Mr Anderson for many years and regularly went out for rides with him and said he had no concerns about the manner of Mr Anderson’s driving and that he had not mentioned any problems with his bike.

Mr Cooke said he got separated from the group because of traffic and he remembered coming round a corner to see his friend lying at the roadside.

Mr Cooke said he went straight over to help him.

In reply to the coroner saying there was a report Mr Anderson had a camera on a helmet, Mr Cooke said he could not recall that being the case.

The inquest heard from Debbie McGraw, Mr Anderson’s partner, who said Mr Cooke told her he was comforting Mr Anderson when he passed away.

Another rider in the group, Alan Lyons, said the day was clear and “bone dry”.

He told the inquest that the group had stopped at Templepatrick earlier in the day where he saw Mr Anderson take some tablets with a bottle of Coke but that his demeanour was “100 per cent”.

Regarding the tablets, the coroner said he had no concerns about Mr Anderson’s ability to drive.