Biker died riding along North Downs Way between Lenham and Charing

A motorbike ride along the Pilgrims Way between Lenham and Charing ended in tragedy, an inquest heard.

Richard Waterhouse, 47, had gone for a ride with his pal Adam McKillock along the dirt byway, also know as the North Downs Way, when he lost control of his Yamaha 700, plunged into a tree and ended up in a ditch.

The accident happened on the North Downs Way
The accident happened on the North Downs Way

Mr Waterhouse suffered catastrophic injuries to his chest which led to his death.

The accident happened on Tuesday, October 19, last year at around 3.40pm.

Mr McKillock had been riding in front. After a while he stopped to wait for Mr Waterhouse to catch up. When Mr Waterhouse didn’t appear, he went back along the track where he discovered his friend lying unresponsive in a ditch, though he was still breathing.

Mr McKillock immediately called 999 and when after a while Mr Waterhouse stopped breathing, began CPR.

A couple arrived on the scene shortly after in their Landrover Discovery. Lianne Ferguson and Timothy Brown then assisted Mr McKillock, giving CPR in turn to the victim until medics arrived and took over.

The inquest was held at the Archbishops Palace in Maidstone
The inquest was held at the Archbishops Palace in Maidstone

However, after an hour spent trying to resuscitate Mr Waterhouse, he was declared dead at the scene.

Coroner Katrina Hepburn heard reports from police accident investigation officers that there were no defects on the motorbike and no adverse weather conditions.

Mr Waterhouse would have gone over an undulation in the road just before beginning to negotiate a left-hand bend and it is was at that point that he seemed to have lost control of his machine.

The bike was found to be in third gear with its headlight on and Mr Waterhouse had been wearing a helmet.

The route, popular with walkers and runners, is nevertheless legally open to all traffic, with a 60mph speed limit.

‘No reason for loss of control’

Mr McKillock estimated they had only been travelling at around 15 to 20mph because of the difficult nature of the terrain and a number of blind bends.

Toxicology analysis found no drugs or alcohol in Mr Waterhouse’s body, nor did he suffer from any pre-existing medical condition that might have accounted for his sudden loss of control.

With no witnesses to the accident, the coroner said it was impossible to say why exactly Mr Waterhouse had lost control, but she concluded the death was due to a road traffic collision.

Mr Waterhouse, from Speedwell Road, Whitstable, had been born in Greenwich. He leaves his widow Natasha.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *