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.