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Accident happened on notorious Basingstoke road
A NEWLY-QUALIFIED motorcyclist and his pillion passenger died when they came off their bike and hit a road sign on a notorious Basingstoke road.
Julian Farley, 25, and his passenger Jessica Ellis, 23, of Tudor Crescent, Portsmouth, died instantly in the crash on the A339, near its junction with Farleigh Road, at 6.30pm on March 3.
A joint inquest at Alton Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Farley lost control of his bike when he braked hard, causing his front wheel to lock, after attempting to overtake a car that had started its own overtaking manoeuvre.
Kieran Lenachan was driving his black Nissan Micra towards his home town of Alton from Basingstoke, having picked up his friend Ben Harman, of Turner Close, Black Dam, Basingstoke.
He said: “There was a car in front of me and that was going fairly slowly. I was going to overtake as I knew there was a dual carriageway coming up. “I started overtaking, moving into the right-hand lane to pass the car, when I saw sparks in my mirror. Somebody said stop and I pulled over into the lay-by.”
Mr Lenachan said he had seen the motorbike a car’s length behind him, when he checked his rear view mirror as part of his own overtaking manoeuvre.
He described seeing two bodies lying motionless by a road sign on the central reservation, just where the road goes from a single carriageway to a dual carriageway.
Other motorists stopped and attempted to revive the couple, before paramedics arrived.
The inquest heard Mr Lenachan, who was 17 at the time of the crash, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving, but was later released with no further action following an investigation.
Antony Johnson, collision investigator, estimated that the Triumph motorcyclist was travelling at 68mph, exceeding the 40mph speed limit, when he started to brake. He added: “I understand the Triumph rider had just passed his test. It’s possible that inexperience played a part in this accident.”
Andrew Bradley, coroner for North East Hampshire, described the frequency of motorcyclist deaths on the A339 as a “bane of my existence”, although he added the situation on the road had improved recently.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Bradley said: “What happened in front of Julian was not what he anticipated was going to happen. The situation is one in which I cannot say anything