Coroner rules Portsmouth motorbike couple’s deaths were accidental

Jess Ellis and Julian Farley from Portsmouth who died in a motorcycle accident on the A339
Jess Ellis and Julian Farley from Portsmouth who died in a motorcycle accident on the A339

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A road crash which claimed the lives of a young Portsmouth couple was a tragic accident, a corner ruled today.

Julian Farley, 25, and his partner Jessica Ellis, 23, were on a Triumph motorcycle which went out of control on the A339 as they rode towards Alton, Hampshire, on the evening of March 3 this year.

The inquest, held at Alton Magistrates’ Court today, heard how Mr Farley, who was riding the bike, had passed his motorcycle test just days before the accident.

The court heard how Mr Farley was riding behind a black Nissan Micra being driven by Keiran Lanachlan, then 17, and had attempted to overtake the car in the outside lane a short time before the crash at a roundabout.

Mr Farley held back and moved behind the Nissan as both vehicles entered the exit.

The inquest heard that As the road widened from a single lane to a dual carriage way, just after the M3 motorway bridge, Mr Farley, who was riding the bike at an estimated 67mph, was forced to brake suddenly in the right hand lane.

Giving evidence, Antony Johnson, of the forensic investigation unit at Hampshire Constabulary, said he was called to the scene shortly after the incident.

He said tests carried out on both the Triumph motorcycle and the Nissan Micra found Mr Farley was forced to brake suddenly on his 800cc vehicle, forcing the bike to veer to the to the right. The couple, who lived in Tudor Crescent, Cosham, were thrown from the motorcycle and died as a result of their injuries.

Coroner Andrew Bradley said the A339 was a notorious stretch of road for motorcycle fatalities.

He said: ‘I got to a stage where I dreaded Saturday afternoon calls saying there had been another fatality.

‘It’s improving but this was a fairly isolated incident. This has been the bane of my existence.’

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Bradley added: ‘The injuries they sustained are fatal.

‘It’s safe to say no drugs or alcohol were involved and the cause of death is immediate and neither of them suffered.’