EMOTION ran high as a tearful mother thanked a Royal Navy officer for comforting her motorcyclist son just moments before he died in the road.
Daniel Stone was riding to work on his black Suzuki GSX250 motorbike northbound in Gosport Road, Fareham, when he tried to follow another rider who had filtered through a gap between an Asda lorry and a pedestrian crossing.
He simply misjudged it and was left without enough room. That’s not a criticism, it could happen to anyoneDavid Horsley
But as driver Martin Curran moved forward at around 6mph the gap closed, with Mr Stone, 25, putting on his brakes and skidding 18 metres, hitting the concrete and keep-left sign.
Portsmouth Coroner’s Court yesterday heard Mr Stone landed on the ground at a right angle to the lorry, with him sustaining serious injuries as the trailer’s wheels went over his legs.
Lieutenant Stephen Currie leapt out of his black Mazda, rushing to his aid and shouting to another driver to call 999. Speaking at the inquest he said Mr Stone had tried to get up but he reassured him, removed his helmet and put his sweater under his head.
Lt Currie said: ‘I gave him a quick glance over and saw his leg was broken. He wasn’t really aware.’
He added: ‘I then just sat down next to him, tried to talk to him.
‘He wanted to take his helmet off. I tried to help him out with that.
‘I convinced him it’s best that he lay on his front until the ambulance came.’
He added: ‘I was chatting to Daniel, he was calming him down. I stayed with Daniel until the paramedics arrived, I was still sort of there helping them out just to keep him calm.’
Speaking to Lt Currie in the court room Daniel’s tearful mother Michelle Cripps, of Rowner, Gosport, said: ‘I would like to thank you.’
She hugged both Lt Currie and Mr Curran after the inquest concluded.
Mr Curran, who said the road was ‘dangerous’, had told the inquest: ‘I was praying he was going to stop but he just kept coming and coming.’
Philip Wilson was driving a works van northbound behind a car behind the Asda lorry.
He said: ‘He skidded along, he went sideways, hit the bollard, went over the top and into the road then the lorry went over his legs.’
PC Emma Clifford, from Hampshire police’s Forensic Collision Investigation Unit, said the accident on March 11 at 8.08am was caused either by Mr Stone failing to appreciate the closing gap, or his failing to see the pedestrian crossing.
Mr Stone, who was on his way to work at BCS Manufacturing, was riding at between 23mph and 30mph as traffic was moving slowly northbound, PC Clifford said.
A report from pathologist Dr Brett Lockyer said Mr Stone’s blood alcohol level was 47mg per 100ml of blood, less than the 80mg legal limit.
Dr Lockyer said he believed Mr Stone died due to serious pelvic and leg injuries.
Concluding his death was a tragic accident coroner David Horsley said: ‘He simply misjudged it and was left without enough room. That’s not a criticism, it could happen to anyone.’
The inquest heard Mr Stone, who lived with his mother, and also his father in Mumby Road, Gosport, was riding the 250cc motorbike he bought in January but had a provisional licence allowing him to drive up to 125cc bikes.
There were no defects with the bike or lorry, the inquest was told.
Speaking at the inquest Miss Cripps said: ‘He’d actually got himself into a nice situation in life, he was happy, a decent job he enjoyed doing.’
Mr Stone had owned around five bikes in his life and been riding since he was 16 after his father Phil took him out when he was younger.
Previously paying tribute his family said: ‘Daniel was a local lad who grew up in the Gosport area and lived life to the full. He was passionate about his music and bikes and will be missed by his many friends.’