AN EXPERIENCED biker died as a result of injuries he received when he lost control of his vintage British motorbike, an inquest in Scarborough has heard.
Deputy coroner John Broadbridge heard that Martin Wilfred Linfoot, a 59-year-old former heavy goods driver, was a genius motorcycle mechanic who had never had an accident in 40 years riding.
Mr Linfoot was going along Columbus Ravine last July when he lost grip in the wet and he crashed into a stationary silver Renault Megane which was waiting to turn into Tennyson Avenue.
Motorist Richard Taylor, of Prospect Road, said he had picked up a friend and was waiting for a gap in the traffic at the time of the incident. He said: “We looked up and he was coming towards us. It had been raining beforehand.”
He added that he saw Mr Linfoot, who lived at Southwold Close in Eastfield, losing control of his BSA motorcycle. He said: “As he came to the car the front wheel went on him. He landed on his shoulder on the front of the car.”
Mr Broadbridge heard that Mr Linfoot had suffered from a back problem and had been complaining of back and chest pains when he was treated by paramedics at the scene.
In a statement, which was read out to the court, off-duty ambulance crew member Neil Woods said he was driving home on the night of the incident when he saw that Columbus Ravine was blocked, it was obvious that something had happened, and he helped at the scene. He added that he had told Mr Linfoot to keep still and that it was not raining but the road was damp.
In a statement from TC Alison Travis she said that Mr Linfoot’s red BSA motorcycle was moved by members of the public after the collision and was on its stand. She added: “There were new marks in the carriageway, travelling from Peasholm to Northway, and I believe that those marks were caused by the motorcycle.”
Mr Linfoot’s son, Paul, said that he had visited his father in Scarborough Hospital and he had spoken of what had happened. He said: “He didn’t look good but he was sat upright and could talk. I asked him what had happened? He said ‘he was turning around in the middle of the road so I had to brake and I lost the front end of the bike’.”
TC Stephen Kirkbright carried out a full investigation of the incident and said that the 1959 vintage British motorcycle was very different to modern bikes. He added: “I’d not like the court to think of the modern motorcycles that we deal with. This is a different machine altogether. If we took someone who’d learned to ride on a modern Japanese motorcycle they would be nervous.
“Since 1959 we’ve moved on quite a lot. There was nothing wrong with it, it’d just passed an MOT, but engineering and science have moved on quite a bit.”
The court heard that Mr Linfoot’s condition had deteriorated and he passed away a week after the accident. A post mortem examination showed that there was bruising on his bowel and excess fluid in his abdomen.
Mr Broadbridge gave a verdict of accidental death because there had been an “unbroken chain of events” since the accident.