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Grantham biker died in crash while trying to overtake

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An experienced Grantham motorcyclist was killed when he apparently aborted an overtaking manoeuvre and crashed into the back of a car.

Adrian Wheelhouse, who could have been travelling at about 100mph, suffered head injuries and died at the scene on a straight stretch of the A607 between Honington fork junction and Barkston.

This was despite the best efforts of two nurses who stopped and administered first aid and CPR.

An inquest has been held into the death of Adrian Wheelhouse. (54179305)
An inquest has been held into the death of Adrian Wheelhouse. (54179305)

Mr Wheelhouse, a 52-year-old self-employed bookseller from Brittain Drive, was riding with two friends when he collided with a Ford Fiesta.

One colleague, Peter Hennessy, told an inquest in Lincoln today (January 10) that he believed the dazzling sun at just before 8pm on June 10 last year was a key factor.

Mr Wheelhouse had overtaken two riders on his Kawasaki ZR1000 KLFA and it’s thought that, as he prepared to overtake the car, he spotted an oncoming lorry in the opposite carriageway and aborted the manoeuvre but could not avoid hitting the back of the Fiesta.

The car driver – Daniel Howland, 58 – had briefly seen Mr Wheelhouse approaching, in the Fiesta’s wing mirror.

In written evidence, he said: “I thought to myself the motorbike didn’t have the space for an overtake and he wasn’t going to make it.

“I braced myself for the impact. It was less than a second from looking in my offside mirror to the motorbike hitting me.”

The car was pushed into the path of the lorry but both drivers were able to take evasive action to avoid a second collision.

Lorry driver Alan Keuneke said Mr Howland did well to avoid hitting his truck.

Mr Keuneke said in evidence: “The motorbike at the rear of the group speeded up and overtook the other two riders.

“I thought the rider was going to overtake the Fiesta.

“I don’t know if he saw my vehicle and decided against the overtake but all of a sudden [he] braked hard and moved over towards the grass verge on his side of the road.”

William Brinkley, one of the three riders returning from a bike night at Caffe Cream in Bourne, said: “All of a sudden I saw Adrian out of the corner of my eye come flying past me. He was in our lane.

“I would say he was in the triple digits, travelling at well over 100mph.

“This was really out of character for him because he’s the safest rider I’ve ridden with and he’s normally very steady.”

Assistant coroner Lindsay Tasker concluded that Mr Wheelhouse’s death was as the result of a road traffic collision.

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