'Tragic waste of life' as coroner rules Havant motorcyclist, 20, died 'racing' friend at up to 60mph in Portsmouth

Floral tributes to motorcyclist Ryan White on Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth            Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Floral tributes to motorcyclist Ryan White on Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth Picture: Chris Moorhouse
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A YOUNG motorcyclist died after ‘racing’ a friend through the city at up to 60mph before crashing outside a police station in a ‘tragic waste of life,’ a coroner has said.

Ryan White, 20, and friend Callum Jones, 21, were speeding on their Yamaha motorbikes in Winston Churchill Avenue at 1am on June 9 last year when Ryan lost control of his bike.

Ryan White

Ryan White

Ryan collided with a pole near the roundabout outside Portsmouth Central police station and tragically died.

On Friday Portsmouth Coroner’s Court heard forensic crash investigators concluded the Havant man was travelling ‘in excess and up to double the 30mph’ speed limit.

The inquest heard the fast speed and his ‘heavy braking’ resulted in his rear wheel locking - throwing him over the handlebars and landing near the pavement before his friend Jones ran from the scene.

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Recording a conclusion of misadventure, coroner John Matthews said: ‘It is quite clear to me that these two young men were racing one another. They should not have been doing it and they were riding at excessive speeds. 

‘These young men did not realise the power of their vehicles. Tragically Ryan lost control of his bike which he should not have been riding.’

Neither Ryan or his friend were licensed to drive the powerful Yamaha bikes they were riding.

As reported, Jones was sent to prison for 10 months for reckless driving in regard to the incident.

A statement read to the court from Mr Jones said: ‘I tried to wake him up by shaking him. 

I walked my bike round the corner with intentions of going back. When I turned round there was a police officer and I sat and watched for 20 minutes. It never crossed my mind that he was seriously injured.

‘When I got back home I rang Ryan’s brother to tell him what happened. I cannot put into words how I felt when I found out Ryan had died.’

PC Shaun Brennan was one of the first officers on the scene after he and Sergeant Pauline Tarr heard motorbikes revving when they were leaving the police station.

SEE ALSO: Reckless motorcyclist who performed wheelies outside Portsmouth police station where friend died is jailed

PC Brennan said: ‘We heard a bang but couldn’t see anything.

‘As we moved off towards the roundabout I saw a male lying on the ground. I was shocked.’

Ryan was one of five children and his family remembered him as loving motorbikes and football.

Mr Matthews told the family: ‘This was a tragic waste of life. Ryan’s life was not in vain though as he was obviously loved and cherished as you are here.

‘Please remember the positive memories of him and it will help the grief. Although it will never go away but you have four more reasons to keep going.’