Lorry blow-out led to fatal M6 crash

The accident scene
The accident scene
Have your say

A motorcyclist killed in a pile-up caused by a lorry blow-out on the M6 was travelling at almost 30 miles per hour over the national speed limit, an inquest heard.

Falklands War veteran Anthony Arrandale (pictured below) died after his orange Kawasaki 1,000cc motorbike collided with two other bikes and a car between Junction 14 for Stafford and Junction 15 for Yarnfield, near Stone.

Tony Arrandale

Tony Arrandale

The 62-year-old, of Ashfield Road, Bispham, was travelling to Plymouth on July 13 last year with his wife Wendy. The couple had been due to catch a ferry to Portugal for a holiday together.

But the grandfather-of-two failed to spot debris in the road caused by the blow-out and collided with two other bikes at a speed of 96mph.

He was taken to University Hospital of North Staffordshire where he later died from his injuries. His wife was also taken to hospital and later discharged.

Giving evidence at Cannock Coroner’s Court, PC Carl Derry, from Staffordshire Police, said: “The lorry is travelling in lane one when it suffers a failure of the rear tyre. It begins to disintegrate and bits of debris begin to fly across the carriageway.

“Footage from a static camera shows a blue Kawasaki move to lane three from lane one before the orange motorcycle crashes into it. He then hits another motorcyclist and the blue bike crashes into a VW Polo.

“The orange motorcycle keeps a consistent speed on approach of 100mph and I can offer no reason why the rider failed to notice the incident ahead or slow down.”

No defects were found on the throttle, on the breaks of the bike or on any of the other vehicles involved.

Mr Derry said it was likely the lorry had driven over something in the road causing the tyre to deflate.

Dave Rutter was riding the blue Kawasaki bike at around 9am when he was knocked over and fell on to the roadsustaining a back injury.

He said: “I smelt burning rubber and I saw debris across lanes one to three, so I began to move into the outside lane.

“I had been doing 70mph and I was slowing down because I was aware of what had happened ahead when I felt a shunt from behind and I fell on to the road.”

Motorcyclist Alan Hayes has held his licence 45 years.

In a statement he said he was thrown into the air after being hit by Mr Arrandale and required oxygen and first aid.

He was treated at University Hospital of North Staffordshire for back pain and had to have physiotherapy.

South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh said: “Tony has been described as an exceptional motorcyclist.

“He had been an instructor in both military and civilian life as well as a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists. When travelling at this speed even the slightest delay can be fatal.”

He gave the cause of death as multiple injuries and concluded Mr Arrandale died as the result of a road traffic collision.