Man died on A27 Lewes road after motorbike accident
Michael Leeks died on August 9 2019, an inquest heard.
An inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall on Thursday (October 15), heard Mr Leeks, a construction manager from Chelmsford in Essex, was overtaking a vehicle in the westbound lane.
The inquest heard that when he tried to return to his lane after seeing an oncoming Audi A4, his back wheel lost traction and slid from under him, causing him to lose control and become separated from the bike.
Dashcam footage from a car in the westbound lane showed the traffic heading westbound was travelling at around 47mph. When the 650CC Honda motorbike Mr Leeks was riding went to overtake on two consecutive occasions, he was travelling at 70mph, the inquest heard.
Lewis Di Clemente, who was two cars behind the motorcycle at the time of the accident, said, “There was a steady stream of traffic. It was damp and drizzly conditions - the roads were definitely wet.”
Colin Slattery, the driver of the Audi vehicle heading eastbound, said the bike was around 300 yards away when he first saw it.
He said, “The bike was in the middle of the lane coming straight towards me, I didn’t see the rider at all.”
Stephen Ashby, an officer for the Sussex Police Forensic Collision Investigation and Reconstruction Unit, described ‘deep dips’ in the road which he said could obscure the view of vehicles.
Mr Leeks was coming out of one of these ‘dips’ when he became aware of the Audi, the inquest heard.
The motorbike was on its second overtake when the Audi came into view.
Mr Ashby said, “The lack of view caused Mr Leeks to do the second overtake.”
He said it was a ‘risky’ overtake which resulted in Mr Leeks hitting the front of the Audi after coming off his motorbike.
He concluded that it was due to the ‘combination of the acceleration, and the damp road’ that caused the accident.
He said, “The Audi was left with little or no time to react, which resulted in the untimely death of Mr Leeks.”
The inquest heard Mr Leeks’s death was due to multiple injuries caused by the collision.
East Sussex coroner Alan Craze ruled that Mr Leek’s death was due to a road traffic collision and called the incident a ‘complete and total tragedy’.