A MOTORCYCLIST who died after crashing in front of his teenage son could have survived had he been wearing a crash helmet, an inquest has found.
Andrew Christopher Harrison, of Osgodby, who was 37, died after he fell from his 250cc off-road bike in front of his son.
The inquest, held at Selby Civic Centre, heard that Mr Harrison had always had an interest in motorbikes and cars. He was was experienced with off-road bikes, and had taken part in track competitions driving drift cars, but he only had the Kawasaki bike for two days prior to his death.
He had been working on the machine in the garage of his Howden Road home when he took it for a test ride on a nearby road on May 15 last year.
A statement from Mr Harrison’s son, Jordan, who was watching with his friend, told how Mr Harrison had travelled to the end of a part-surfaced track at the back of his home and was returning to his garage.
He smiled as he turned, the statement said, before the bike revved and accelerated away from him.
Denise Preston, who had been seeing Mr Harrison for several months prior to his death, said she heard a crash as she came out of the house to offer him a drink, then heard Jordan shouting “Come on dad!”.
The inquest heard the bike accelerated suddenly while Mr Harrison clung on to it, first hitting a concrete fence post with enough force to break it, then travelling to the other side of the lane and into a brick wall.
Mr Harrison suffered severe head injuries in the crash, and was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary where he remained on life support for about 24 hours. He died at 7pm on May 16.
Traffic Sergeant Hamish Holloway said the bike was moving at 23 to 25mph at the time of the crash. He also told the inquest the pathologist told him death would have been avoidable if Mr Harrison had worn a helmet.
Assistant coroner Geoff Fell told the inquest: “Mr Harrison was taking an unnecessary risk as he had a helmet and gloves anyway. It was, as we know, a life-threatening risk. I am quite sure a crash helmet would have reduced that risk.”
Mr Harrison’s death was ruled an accident.
In our report into the inquest of Andrew Harrison, we incorrectly called his son Joshua; in fact, his name is Jordan. We apologise for the error and for insensitivity in aspects of our report.
We would also like to clarify that Mr Harrison’s accident took place on an off-road track, not the public highway, and that he usually wore appropriate safety gear.