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King’s Lynn motorcyclist ‘likely to have died instantly’ following crash on way home from work, inquest told

todayJune 2, 2021 3

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A court has heard how a Lynn motorcyclist died after a collision involving several other vehicles while returning home from work.

James Harry Lake, who was 26, suffered fatal injuries in the incident on the A17 near Terrington St Clement on the morning of November 9 last year.

An inquest into his death, which took place via remote link from the Norfolk Coroner’s Court this afternoon, heard the initial collision involved Mr Lake’s Derbi motorcycle and a van travelling in the opposite direction.

Norfolk Coroner's Court
Norfolk Coroner’s Court

Mr Lake, of Gaskell Way, had been travelling towards Lynn after completing a night shift at a factory in Sutton Bridge at the time.

The court heard Mr Lake had been attempting to overtake a vehicle in front of him when the initial impact occurred.

Several other vehicles then struck either him, his machine or debris in the aftermath.

A post-mortem examination concluded Mr Lake died as a result of multiple injuries.

Pathologist Dr Ray Lonsdale said his injuries were “unsurvivable” and the severity of them was such that he was likely to have died instantaneously.

In a report, which was read to the court, police collision investigator PC Paul McKay said the “most likely” explanation for the crash was an “error of judgment” on Mr Lake’s behalf as he attempted the overtaking manoeuvre.

But he also said he could not rule out the possibility that his visibility had been affected by fog in the area.

Although the driver of the vehicle Mr Lake was overtaking said his headlight was off at the time of the impact, PC McKay said he could find no sign of defects on any of the vehicles involved which may have contributed to the crash.

He added that, if working properly, the headlight on Mr Lake’s machine would have come on automatically as soon the engine was started.

The inquest also heard there were signs of cannabis in Mr Lake’s system, but it could not be established how recently he had used the drug or whether his riding was impaired as a result.

PC McKay added that the other drivers involved would not have had time to react to what happened.

Senior coroner Jacqueline Lake recorded a conclusion that Mr Lake had died due to a road traffic collision.

She offered condolences to members of Mr Lake’s family who attended the hearing.

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