Dewsbury biker’s death was a ‘tragic accident’

TRAGIC: Kevin Western, pictured left with his wife Debbie.
TRAGIC: Kevin Western, pictured left with his wife Debbie.

A FATHER who died after a motorbike crash may have been dazzled by the sun, an inquest heard.

Experienced rider Kevin Western was killed in a “tragic accident” in Earlsheaton last August.

His Yamaha motorbike crashed into a bollard while he was overtaking a HGV on Wakefield Road.

The 48-year-old suffered multiple injuries and died before ambulance crews could get him to Dewsbury and District Hospital.

Huddersfield Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Western, of Lower Bower Lane, Dewsbury, regularly rode his bike along the road.

Witnesses said driving conditions were good on August 19, but at 6am the sun was low in the sky.

PC Wayne Hutchinson was two cars behind the HGV as it travelled out of Dewsbury.

He said: “Mr Western proceeded to overtake the HGV. He continued down the off-side and the bike just wobbled from side to side.

“There was extensive damage to the motorcycle.”

HGV driver John Hall said: “As I was passing the garage I was aware of something. When I looked in my mirror I saw a motorbike in the road.”

Steven Green, head of West Yorkshire Police’s collision investigation unit, said the bike was not travelling at an excessive speed, but the sun could have impaired Mr Western’s vision.

He said tyre marks showed Mr Western made an emergency brake, but the wheels locked and sent the bike into a slide.

On Wednesday, West Yorkshire Coroner Roger Whittaker recorded a verdict of accidental death.

He said circumstances, including the position of the sun, had conspired against Mr Western.

He said: “For some reason, which we will never know, he miscalculated the time and distance to overtake. This is a simple, but tragic, accident.”

In a statement, the Western family said: “We would like to thank the emergency services, police, the Coroner’s office and all our friends and family for their consideration and support.”