Biker had been travelling at up to 132mph before fatal crash with van, inquest told

Relatives of a 28-year-old motorcyclist who died in a horror crash at a notorious crash site were left with unanswered questions after his inquest.

Tom Allan. Picture supplied by family.
Tom Allan. Picture supplied by family.

Even after painstaking police investigations, the speed of Tom Allan's BMW motorbike at the time of the crash at Mill Green, Hinstock, Shropshire, on July 20, 2021, could not be conclusively proved.

Mr Allan, from Perton, in South Staffordshire, died at the scene from head and spinal cord injuries.

An inquest in Shrewsbury on Tuesday was told that 200 metres before the collision with a white Toyota Ago van at about 8pm, Mr Allan had been recorded on a resident's CCTV travelling at between 121mph and 132mph.

The A41 at Hinstock. Picture: Google

Mr Allan's dad, Kevin, mum, Rita, and sister, Hayley Jones, queried how accurate a measurement of a split second clip could be, but accident investigator Pc Nik Stafford said the 15 frames a second clip had been verified.

Even being replayed to the court frame-by-frame it was a case of "blink and you miss it" according to the coroner.

The family also believe that a close up image of other CCTV footage, taken from the yard at Cambers Country Stories, showed evidence that the white van had turned in front of their son's motorbike.

But Pc Stafford said the zoomed in close-up could have been a "changing pixel" and could not be treated as evidence.

Family members also queried whether another vehicle could have been involved.

Pc Stafford said: "People driving away from the scene is one of my pet hates, they do not want to get involved."

The inquest heard that Subway van driver Ikan Kamber, who had been travelling towards the A41 from Edwards Transport had no recollection of the crash in which he had pulled out from the motorcyclist's left hand side.

Mr Kamber did not appear as a witness but neighbour Laurence Forfitt, who was one of the first on the scene, described seeing a man "completely dazed and out of it" sitting in the Subway van which had ploughed into a hedge.

Mr Forfitt had been working up a ladder on his property on the sunny Tuesday evening when he heard a motorbike's revs going "off the scale" and the "almighty bang" of the collision. He described the area, where he has lived for four years as an "accident blackspot", with another death taking place there since.

The coroner agreed that the sound of the engine revving was probably due to "panic braking" when Mr Allan, an experienced rider of roads in the area, had gripped the brakes and the clutch handles at the same time.

Coroner John Ellery, sitting at Shirehall, said there were two theories about what happened but it was speculation to say that the van driver could not or did not see the motorbike.

Even if Mr Allan had been slowing down he would still have been travelling at "substantial speed" said Mr Ellery.

But he said there was much that "can't be translated into evidence. We are having to piece through as best as we can," he said.

"We can't say precisely how it occurred or where Tom was and what speed he was going," said Mr Ellery, who said the purpose of an inquest is not to lay blame, or to put anyone on trial, but to record the facts.

"We have got it as clear as we can, and it leaves it open to you to take it where you can."

The family have started their own investigations.

The coroner added: "I respect your view and I do not dispute it but to me I cannot draw a conclusion - you may be right.

"I hope that you may find the answers that you are looking for."

The coroner accepted the investigator's evidence that the BMW motorbike had been travelling at between 121mph and 132mph before the crash.

But he added that "it does not tell us what speed Tom was doing at the collision or the moment Mr Kamber pulled out".

Mr Ellery added: "The evidence does not allow us to close the gap. Unless someone else comes forward, we will never answer that question."

The coroner recorded a verdict that Mr Allan died of a road traffic collision.

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