Tragedy of motorcyclists in collision

Stuart Hansen who died in a motorcycle collision with his wife Debbie
Stuart Hansen who died in a motorcycle collision with his wife Debbie

A Bridlington motorcyclist died in a head-on double-fatal crash with a motorcycling police officer who had been previously given advice about his driving by a fellow officer, an inquest heard.

North Yorkshire East Coroner, Michael Oakley, recorded narrative verdicts on semi-retired mechanic Stuart David Hansen, 62, of Trentham Mews, and off-duty officer Gareth Attwood, 36, of Sellers Drive, Leconfield, who died when their identical model machines collided on the A1257 Broughton road near Malton.

The late Stuart Hansen

The late Stuart Hansen

Mr Attwood had been in a group of five motorcycling friends on a recreational trip last October when the accident happened.

Fellow police officer Andrew Coles told the inquest at Scarborough that Mr Attwood had been ahead of him in the group and were heading out of Malton towards Swinton when he moved out to overtake a car. “I didn’t think it was safe,” he said.

Questioned by the Coroner he said he had previously spoken to Mr Attwood about his driving “but he didn’t seem to take on board the concerns.”

Traffic Constable David Taylor said a 69-metre long locked wheel mark had been left on the road as a result of the accident.

He believed from tests carried out that Mr Attwood had probably been driving in excess of 78 mph and had been exceeding the speed limit at the time of the crash.

Mr Hansen had been driving within the speed limit and TC Taylor believed Mr Hansen had tried to avoid the collision.

Mr Hansen leaves behind his partner of 34 years and wife of 16 Debbie, and sons Richard and Scott.

Debbie said: “Stuart lived life to the full. His opinion was that ‘life is for living’, and that’s certainly what he did. He was a joker, or he liked to think he was.

“He has died way before his time. It will take many years for friends and family to get through this tragedy. It is a massive hole he leaves in this family and with his friends also.”

James Ross, a police officer from North Lincolnshire, said he had regularly ridden with Mr Attwood. “He moved out to overtake but I didn’t think it was a good place to do so.

“He started to accelerate and I saw the other motorcycle coming towards us. Gareth’s back brakes locked and his bike swerved.” He believed that had Mr Attwood’s 
machine not skidded the two motorcyclists could have avoided each other.

He had tried in vain to revive Mr Attwood.

Mr Oakley gave a narrative verdict that Mr Attwood had been killed during an overtaking manouevre and Mr Hansen by the overtaking of Mr Attwood’s machine.