Family seek the truth over death of popular biker

Chloe Jacobs and her daughter Scarlett. Below, Scarlett and Joe
Chloe Jacobs and her daughter Scarlett. Below, Scarlett and Joe
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A MUM devastated by the loss of her beloved partner is seeking the truth over what happened in a crash on a notoriously dangerous road.

Chloe Jacobs is heartbroken that her two-year-old daughter Scarlett will grow up without her father, Joe Butland.

150069_JOE_13/1/15''Joe Butland and his baby daughter, Scarlett Jacobs aged 2. ''Joe died last September near Rowlands Castle.''Picture: Collect PPP-150113-150847001

150069_JOE_13/1/15''Joe Butland and his baby daughter, Scarlett Jacobs aged 2. ''Joe died last September near Rowlands Castle.''Picture: Collect PPP-150113-150847001

The 25-year-old biker was killed on a Sunday afternoon last September as he returned home from work along Comley Hill, a winding rural road between Rowlands Castle and Emsworth that he had ridden on for years.

Now, three months on, Chloe, supported by Joe’s mother Lorraine Butland, is appealing for more witnesses to come forward to give them answers over what happened that day.

The vague version of events they have is that a 4x4 car had broken down after running out of petrol and that Joe’s bike was in collision with it.

Chloe, 23, of Edgell Road, Westbourne, said: ‘I hope more people come forward and it triggers their memory.

‘It should not have happened. He rode that road for years. He knew that road.

‘He was incredibly careful – I didn’t know a safer rider. It could have been prevented, actions could have been taken.’

Lorraine, of Adderbury Avenue, Emsworth, said: ‘I wonder if there are any other witnesses to find out how long that truck was sitting there.

‘It was on a blind bend and Joe could obviously not see him.

‘There was another witness who said it was there between 3pm and 4pm, but it’s all a bit vague.

‘He’s gone and we haven’t got any proper answers. We just want the truth.’

Joe was an experienced rider, having worked for six years at J&S Accessories, a motorcycling shop in London Road, Cowplain.

He attended Chichester College and did a three-year motorcycle mechanics course.

His death has caused the family unimaginable pain.

Chloe said: ‘You can’t put into words how hard it is.

‘I can fix everything as a mother – but when she wants her daddy, I can’t fix that.

‘She gets upset looking at his pictures. She doesn’t understand where he’s gone.

‘They had the most incredible bond – it was beautiful. She hears bikes and thinks daddy is coming.’

The family go up to Comley Hill and lay flowers, and Lorraine’s fireplace has become a memorial to her son, surrounded by pictures of him in happier times.

Lorraine makes sure a candle is always burning.

She said: ‘Because he was not ill or anything, it’s total shock. He was just coming home from work. We were so proud of him. He was settling down with his family.’

An inquest is set to take place next month in Portsmouth to determine how Joe died.

After the hearing, the family want to campaign for safety improvements at Comley Hill, as well as get drivers to carry red warning triangles in their vehicles.

They believe that Joe’s death could have been prevented if he had seen a red triangle prior to the crash.

Seven years ago Roger Elvin, a 56-year-old van driver from Portsmouth, was killed at Comley Hill after colliding head-on with a lorry that was over the weight restriction for the road.

‘It makes you think how incredibly dangerous that road is,’ added Chloe.

The crash happened on September 28 at 4.10pm and Joe was riding a green and black Kawasaki motorbike.

Call 101 if you have any information about the crash.