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Young motorcyclist was riding at 90mph before A38 crash, inquest hears

By Plymouth Herald  |  Posted: February 06, 2014

By PATRICK DALY Herald Reporter @thepatrickdaly

  • Adam Smart

  • Adam Smart

Comments (14)

A 20-YEAR-OLD motorcyclist who died after hitting a lorry on a major junction just outside Saltash had been driving at 90mph, an inquest heard.

Police investigating the morning rush-hour crash told Plymouth coroners court today that CCTV images showed Adam Smart, from Saltash, approaching the “give way” markings at the Carkeel roundabout at an average speed of 90mph.

Motor Patrol Constable Marcus Rowe said he had passed the last marker at which he should have started to brake - something officers call “the point of no return”.

He added: “He was always going to enter the roundabout without being able to stop at those speeds.”

One eyewitness whose account was read out said the biker had overtaken him “like a bat out of hell” on the way to the junction at around 7.45am on Monday June 10.

The inquest heard that Mr Smart’s black Kawasaki Ninja Z600 motorbike appeared to be wobbling slightly and that he was accelerating in an attempt to upright himself.

The former saltash.net school pupil ended up crashing into the rear of a waste tanker which was already on the roundabout, sustaining serious head injuries as a result.

The driver of the tanker, Graham Trotter, gave evidence at the inquest saying that the first he saw of the biker was when he saw him and the vehicle lying on the road after the collision.

The deceased’s father, David Smart, told Mr Trotter during the proceedings: “We do not blame you.”

After the incident, motorists stopped to try and help the motionless young rider.

They removed his helmet, at the advice of ambulance control staff, and lay him on dust sheets as traffic continued around them.

An off-duty policeman, a midwife and a nurse all gave first aid, including CPR and chest compressions, in an attempt to revive him.

However, Mr Smart showed no signs of life before paramedics arrived and was bleeding from his head according to eyewitness evidence.

Inspections found the bike and the lorry to be in full working order.

The post-mortem examination found that Mr Smart, a duty shift manager, had died from a severe head injury caused by a severe traffic accident.

Assistant Coroner Andrew Cox recorded he died as a result of a road traffic accident.

In his summary, he said: “I’m going to express the view that the cause was the speed at which Adam was travelling immediately beforehand.

“Adam should have given way to Mr Trotter but because of his speed he went into the back of his vehicle.

“There was nothing that Mr Trotter could have or should have done to prevent the accident. He suffered the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

He added: “This was far too young for a young man to have died and I’m very sorry that we have met under these circumstances.”

FAMILY PAYS TRIBUTE TO LIFE-SAVING SON

ADAM’s father issued an emotional tribute to his lifesaving son after hearing about how he died.

The 20-year-old motorcyclist donated his organs before he passed away, helping others to carry on living.

Speaking after the inquest, father David Smart said his young son was thought of every day and the family were striving to keep his memory alive.

“He has left his legacy,” he said.

“He has saved the lives of those who had his organs and highlighted the work of the Blood Bikes [medical courier charity] who will help to save many more lives.

“Out of all of this, that is the good part. The bad part is that our son, and our friend, is no longer here.

“And we miss him. He is missed daily, thought of daily and will never be forgotten.

“We want to try and carry on the good work we are doing in his name.”

David said the inquest had helped to answer questions he had about the fateful events leading up to the crash.

He said: “There were questions in my own mind about what his intentions were. I was thinking, did he make a mistake or an error?

“The really important thing is that this is not about blame. We do not blame the tanker driver or Adam.

“I’m just thankful to everyone who was involved. To the off-duty nurse and policeman who stopped, and those who contacted the emergency services. We were so grateful that he was not on his own.”

The family have organised a motorbike rally and a rugby match in Adam’s name to raise money for Blood Bikes, a free-of-charge medical courier service to NHS hospitals.

The former saltash.net pupil had wanted to become a volunteer for the charity.

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14 comments

  • Bear_blade  |  February 06 2014, 8:03PM

    Addy was an amazing young man, he made a mistake, one he payed dearly for, he would never intentionally have hurt his family, there pain is immeasurable, so rather than judge him for not being able to correct a mistake, take a few minutes to think of all the people he has left behind, some who's hearts may never heal, he was one in a million, rip addy, ride free xx

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  • Kwacker10R  |  February 06 2014, 4:05PM

    @me_plymouth, how on God's earth do you kill a baby in a car by hitting it with a small motorbike??? You would have to be doing 200mph, get real!

    Rate   -2
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  • DavidSmart  |  February 06 2014, 11:10AM

    As Adams father I would like to thank all concerned who tried to help Adam on that fateful day. It is of great comfort to me knowing that the policeman, Midwife and members of the public gave their all in an attempt to revive my son and give him a fighting chance of survival. I understand some people will only look at the negativity of his speed in this case, we don't need reminding thank you...! However, look inside yourselves and ask "have I ever taken a risk and got away with it?" Thankfully most of us can say yes we have taken risks (part of life) and are still here to talk about it and laugh at our "close shaves". Adam can no longer remind us of those moments in his young life and I say this on behalf of all who really knew him; we daily miss his wonderful / wicked sence of humour, his cheerful, loving and kind nature, his willingness to put himself out in order to help others and most of all his smile. We all miss him greatly (especially his mum, Kerry) and we continue to love him as we always did. We wish the "Blood bikers charity" to continue to use Adams incident as a way of raising money towards their great cause and we wish those who Adam helped live through organ donation great health and happiness for the future. Adam, we love and miss you mate, keep riding Adz. X

    Rate   21
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  • DavidSmart  |  February 06 2014, 11:02AM

    As Adams father I would like to thank all concerned who tried to help Adam on that fateful day. It is of great comfort to me knowing that the policeman, Midwife and members of the public gave their all in an attempt to revive my son and give him a fighting chance of survival. I understand some people will only look at the negativity of his speed in this case, we don't need reminding thank you...! However, look inside yourselves and ask "have I ever taken a risk and got away with it?" Thankfully most of us can say yes we have taken risks (part of life) and are still here to talk about it and laugh at our "close shaves". Adam can no longer remind us of those moments in his young life and I say this on behalf of all who really knew him; we daily miss his wonderful / wicked sence of humour, his cheerful, loving and kind nature, his willingness to put himself out in order to help others and most of all his smile. We all miss him greatly (especially his mum, Kerry) and we continue to love him as we always did. We wish the "Blood bikers charity" to continue to use Adams incident as a way of raising money towards their great cause and we wish those who Adam helped live through organ donation great health and happiness for the future. Adam, we love and miss you mate, keep riding Adz. X

    Rate   29
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  • me_plymouth  |  February 06 2014, 9:07AM

    Bottom line here is he was going too fast with no regard for his safety or anybody else's. What if he hit a car carrying a young family? Killed a baby? What about the tanker driver? What if he was too traumatised by this kids actions to ever drive again, losing his profession, employment, home?! Its all very well claiming this kid to be some kind of saint, which maybe he was a nice kid, but he was also another lunatic in a motorbike with no respect for speed or consequences.

    Rate   -4
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  • me_plymouth  |  February 06 2014, 9:00AM

    Bottom line here is he was going too fast with no regard for his safety or anybody else's. What if he hit a car carrying a young family? Killed a baby? What about the tanker driver? What if he was too traumatised by this kids actions to ever drive again, losing his profession, employment, home?! Its all very well claiming this kid to be some kind of saint, which maybe he was a nice kid, but he was also another lunatic in a motorbike with no respect for speed or consequences.

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  • vikkimarks  |  February 06 2014, 1:56AM

    @coffeecup yes he was indeed a fine young man ! Whilst I agree with you that it was indeed lucky that no one else was injured in the accident for you to question whether Adam was a fine young man is exceptionally hurtful to those of us that knew him. Everyone is entitled to their own option but as compassionate human beings we should also take into account other people's feelings . A family have suffered a huge loss of a loved one and that should be your concern not what your opinion is. I do not wish to enter into an argument with you, I just feel that you should be made aware of how extremely hurtful your remark was , many are grieving and that at least should be respected regardless of your opinion as to why .

    Rate   8
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  • Bentley15  |  February 05 2014, 8:25PM

    What a fine young man RIP...I would like to echo "victorialmark's"comments "regardless of the cause of this tragedy." Well done to the few that had to remind the others who have read the piece, and are well aware he was doing ninety

    Rate   13
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  • Theglibster  |  February 05 2014, 7:50PM

    Simple and when we finally just educate these guys. We need to be wearing clothing that is appropriate to what we are doing. On a bike no matter the size means proper boots, clothing and gloves. The priority is a helmet that is correct for you. Give the people that have to pick up the pieces half a chance to pick up the pieces and make you whole again. Speed is great, has to be applied with measure and an understating of controlling a machine. Totally tragic but this can be avoided. Just so sad to read.

    Rate   2
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  • BS_Hater  |  February 05 2014, 5:09PM

    Tragic loss of a fine young man, and what a great gift to others becoming a donor.. RIP..

    Rate   21
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