Mrs Smith lost her 17-year-old son in an horrific motorbike accident in August 2010. Her son was riding his motorbike, when another motorbike rider – approaching from the opposite direction – attempted to overtake another vehicle. In doing so, he crossed over onto Mrs Smith’s son’s side of the road, resulting in a head-on collision. Both bikes exploded, killing both riders.
Following this dreadful accident, a full police investigation was launched to determine the cause. If it hadn’t been for some independent witnesses, no one would probably have known the true nature of what happened.
During the Coroner’s inquest, the driver of the vehicle being overtaken described how she was travelling along the road and clearly saw the young Mr Smith heading towards her car at a safe speed. Then she heard the Defendant’s motorbike revving up behind to overtake her. Her immediate thought was “Jesus, I hope they’ve seen each other”. They didn’t. The result was fatal.
The forensics officer was able to determine that the Defendant was travelling faster than he should have been based on where the debris of both bikes ended up in the road. The Defendant would have been able to see the oncoming motorbike quite clearly but still chose to overtake the car. Mrs Smith’s son, however, was a more inexperienced rider, and indeed was still on his L-plates.
The Coroner ruled that the Defendant did not identify the warnings and therefore unlawfully killed Mr Smith. We then pursued the Defendant’s insurers for bereavement damages, damaged property and funeral expenses. The insurance company later admitted full liability for their deceased client.