Cocktail of drink and pills blamed for crash

A BIKER was killed when he lost control of his motorbike and slammed into a tree, an inquest was told.

David Walker, 44, had a cocktail of drink and anti-depressants in his system at the time of the crash in November last year and was killed instantly.

Mr Walker died when the Aprilia moped he was riding along Cherry Tree Road in Marton, struck a kerb.

He was flung into a tree and suffered massive internal injuries.

Blackpool and Fylde's Assistant Deputy Coroner, Christopher Beverley, resumed the inquest into Mr Walker's death yesterday.

Police were called to the scene to find a Ford Transit van parked up by the road with van driver, Simon Jackson, giving the stricken rider mouth-to-mouth.

Mr Jackson told the inquest: "As (Mr Walker] came around the bend, he hit the kerb, mounted the kerb and struck a tree.

"He was thrown from the bike to the ground. The motorcycle bounced and came to a stop a few metres away."

Witness Joanna Hilton, who stopped to help, added: "We rolled the man on to his back and we could see his eyes just staring without moving.

"He was not breathing."

Mr Walker of Aysgarth Court, Marton, was taken in an ambulance to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, but was formally pronounced dead on arrival.

His adoptive mother, Mona Walker, told the hearing her son had been on a low since her husband died when he was just 17.

He had regular treatment for depression but was "mechanically-minded" and his love of motorbikes pulled him from his slump.

At the time of his death on November 29, Mr Walker was upset after his beloved pet dog died and he encountered problems in his relationship with a woman he had met.

He had made threats to kill himself in the past, the inquest heard, but his mother had no particular concerns on the day he died.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Beverley said: "I'm entirely comfortable ruling out the question that Mr Walker took his own life and am entirely happy there was no third party involvement in relation to this death.

"I'm of the view this accident was not helped by the fact Mr Walker had clearly been drinking and clearly been taking substances that impaired his ability to operate that motorcycle.

"We've heard he started to wobble moments before hitting the kerb and that is a clear indication of a loss of control.

"It's very likely if he hadn't had that combination of drink and prescription drugs, he may have been able to, if not avoid the crash completely, steer himself away from the tree."

ben.rossington@blackpoolgazette.co.uk