A MOTORBIKE rider out for an Easter Sunday run with friends tragically slid off his machine and died after hitting a fence as they visited the course of the Ulster Grand Prix road race.
At at inquest in Coleraine on Friday into the death of 42-year-old father-of-two David Anderson from Ashbourne Park in the town, Coroner Brian Sherrard findings were that the motorbike skidded on loose stones on a road.
He passed on his condolences to Mr Anderson’s family and friends.
Mr Sherrard said: “We have lost somebody who was a partner, a father and a brother and we as a community have lost someone.”
He found that shortly after 4pm on April 5 last year Mr Anderson was riding a motorcycle on the Tornagrough Road in the direction of Belfast when on a left hand bend the motorbike braked severely and after striking loose stones it slid on the road causing both the bike and Mr Anderson to collide with a fence.
The coroner said that sadly Mr Anderson suffered chest injuries which caused his very rapid death at the scene.
Mr Sherrard said people should now remember his life and how important he was to many people.
The coroner said an issue brought to his attention was whether Mr Anderson was fit to be on the road as a result of medication and other medical conditions but he said he wished to put it on the record he had no concerns in those regards.
On Easter Sunday last year David Anderson was out for a drive with five other motorcyclists and after leaving the north coast they went round the Antrim Coast Road and past Ballymena and through Templepatrick and on to the circuit of the Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod.
One of the riders said they were going to stop at the pits area and they had just arrived at the track.
Another of the bikers, Billy Cooke, told the inquest he was friendly with Mr Anderson for many years and regularly went out for rides with him and said he had no concerns about the manner of David’s driving and and that David had not mentioned any problems with his bike.
Mr Cooke said he got separated from the group because of traffic and he said they had kept in the same formation with nobody passing each other all day and he was at the rear before he came round a corner to see David lying at the roadside.
Mr Cooke said he went straight over to help David.
In reply to the Coroner saying there was a report Mr Anderson had a camera on a helmet, Mr Cooke said he could not recall that being the case.
The inquest heard from Debbie McGraw, Mr Anderson’s partner, who said Mr Cooke had told her when he went to David he almost expected David to say: “How’s my bike?” and she said that was like something David would have said.
She said Mr Cooke told her he was comforting David when he passed away.
The inquest heard a camera was never found and Mr Sherrard said the evidence from such a camera would have been vital and he said there was “mystery” surrounding what happened to it.
Another rider in the group, Alan Lyons, said it was “bone dry” and a clear day and when he came to the scene of the collision a number of people were tending to Mr Anderson and he tried to phone for an ambulance but could not get a signal on his phone but another person had made contact with the emergency services.
He told the inquest they had stopped at Templepatrick and said he saw David take some tablets with a bottle of Coke but that his demeanour was “100 per cent”.
He said he was unaware of a camera and never saw David with one during previous rides.
Regarding tablets, the coroner said he had no concerns about David’s ability to drive.