A FATHER-OF-TWO from Broadway died as a result of his motorbike colliding with a car near Wellington, an inquest has heard.
Keen biker Nicholas A'Court-Wills, 56, was travelling on his black Honda motorbike along Quarts Moor in Wrangway at around 6.45pm on August 29 last year when the incident happened.
The inquest heard how Mr A'Court-Wills was overtaking a line of three vehicles before he hit a Volkswagen Golf as it turned right into a National Trust car park, throwing him off his bike and into a nearby ditch.
Motorists from other vehicles attempted to give first aid before an air ambulance and emergency services arrived but Mr A'Court-Wills was pronounced dead at the scene.
In a statement read at the inquest, Chris Griffin, who was driving the Volkswagen Golf, said he had checked his mirrors, indicated right and slowed down to take the right turn and that he could not see a motorbike.
Witness Marcus Johnson, who was driving the car behind Mr Griffin, said he was aware of the motorbike approaching and could see it move out to the right of the carriageway as Mr Griffin's car also turned right.
PC David Watson told the inquest, which was held at the Municipal Buildings in Taunton, the weather and road surface was dry and visibility was good.
A toxicology report found Mr A'Court-Wills had traces of cannabis and alcohol, below the legal limit, in his blood and PC Watson said this “may have” had an adverse affect on his reaction time to stop and judgement.
He added: “There is insufficient evidence to determine what speed Mr A'Court-Wills was travelling but there was insufficient distance to stop when he saw the car cross his path. His speed was a probable factor.”
Mr A'Court-Wills ran Nichares, a hair salon in Taunton, with his wife Diane, and following the news of his death, his family said: “He was a loving son, brother and husband, devoted father to his two children. His death has shocked and devastated his family and friends and he will be missed terribly by all who knew him.”
Delivering his conclusion of death by a road traffic collision, West Somerset coroner Michael Rose said Mr A'Court-Wills should have taken care to slow down.
Mr Rose added: “I deal with more motorbike fatalities than any other road user. It is a very real risk, we have roads in this county where visibility is limited.
“I do not see that the amount of alcohol [Mr A'Court-Wills had in his body] would have affected - I do not think it would have made any difference in this case.”