Undy biker, Luke Grace, died in ‘unintended’ Pontypool collision

South Wales Argus: DIED: Luke Grace DIED: Luke Grace

THE final moments of motorcyclist Luke Grace’s life were recorded by a video camera in an unmarked police car, an inquest heard yesterday.

The car was in traffic behind Mr Grace’s Yamaha 125cc when it collided with a Ford Fiesta on the Skewfields (McDonald’s) roundabout on the A4042, near Pontypool, on Saturday May 19.

The 20-year-old, from Undy, was thrown from his bike and hit a lamp post, sustaining multiple injuries.

Gwent coroner David Bowen was told Mr Grace approached the roundabout from the A472 at around 6.05pm.

PC Chris Goddard, forensic collision investigator with Gwent Police, said the video indicated Mr Grace’s speed on the 50mph road toward the roundabout was not excessive.

The Ford Fiesta, like Mr Grace in the left hand lane, was already on the roundabout.

Mr Grace entered the roundabout without stopping, coming up behind the car and starting to overtake.

“When alongside, the bike turns to go north (towards Abergavenny). The car continues round the roundabout.

The motorcycle makes contact with the front offside wing of the Ford Fiesta,” said PC Goddard.

Car driver Rachel Farfarakis, said in a statement that she had been travelling to Newport from Pontllanfraith, pulled away from the junction, and felt a “heavy impact” on the front passenger side.

She said everything seemed blurred, but she had seen “bits of metal” and someone flying through the air.

PC Goddard said there was no indication the Ford Fiesta was signalling its intended route but was in the correct lane for the A4042 north exit and for the McDonald’s exit.

Asked whether it was in the wrong lane for Newport, PC Goddard said “the Highway Code says you should be in the right hand lane.”

Mr Bowen said Mr Grace might have thought the car was going to turn north “and if it had done that, it would have been perfectly safe for him.”

Mr Grace, he said, had either tried to pass ahead of the car “or more probably he assumed that as the car was in the left hand lane it was going to exit northbound in that lane, leaving the next lane clear for the motorbike.”

“Perhaps this serves as a warning to motorists not to take anything for granted,” said Mr Bowen, concluding that the collision was ‘both unintended and unforeseen.”

Verdict: Accidental death.

Comments (4)

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11:15am Fri 5 Oct 12

sc0ttrs says...

I use this roundabout every morning and evening and I see the makings of this kind of accident 'everyday'!....peopl
e travelling from Pontypool use the left hand lane heading towards Cwmbran cutting across the Abergavenny lane! Only a matter of time before it happens again, unfortunately!
I use this roundabout every morning and evening and I see the makings of this kind of accident 'everyday'!....peopl e travelling from Pontypool use the left hand lane heading towards Cwmbran cutting across the Abergavenny lane! Only a matter of time before it happens again, unfortunately! sc0ttrs
  • Score: 0

12:20pm Fri 5 Oct 12

schen1_1 says...

One thing I would say is that a few years ago a driving instructor was interviewed by the s.wales argus and said that people should use both lanes for Cwmbran to help congestion. Since then I have done it when I didn
't before. Plus if your going to McDonalds then you would need to be in the left lane.

Simply, as tragic as it is, the biker shouldn't have changed lanes and over taken on a roundabout. Plus drivers need to indicate right on a roundabout when going beyond 12oclock not just left when coming off it
One thing I would say is that a few years ago a driving instructor was interviewed by the s.wales argus and said that people should use both lanes for Cwmbran to help congestion. Since then I have done it when I didn 't before. Plus if your going to McDonalds then you would need to be in the left lane. Simply, as tragic as it is, the biker shouldn't have changed lanes and over taken on a roundabout. Plus drivers need to indicate right on a roundabout when going beyond 12oclock not just left when coming off it schen1_1
  • Score: 0

2:35pm Fri 5 Oct 12

Gareth says...

It's probably a little pedantic, but is the headline suggesting that other collisions in which bikers die are intended?

Yes, way too pedantic...
It's probably a little pedantic, but is the headline suggesting that other collisions in which bikers die are intended? Yes, way too pedantic... Gareth
  • Score: 0

4:57pm Fri 5 Oct 12

youngashie says...

When i was taught to drive in the late 1950's i was always told when approaching or using a roundabout that the left hand lane was for traffic turning left and the right hand lane for straight ahead or turning right. Sadly nowadays lane disipline on roundabouts doe's not exist and it seems to be a free for all with many drivers changeing lanes when negotiating roundabouts and carving up other road users ad hoc.As long as this continues sadly many more accidents and possibly deaths will occur.
When i was taught to drive in the late 1950's i was always told when approaching or using a roundabout that the left hand lane was for traffic turning left and the right hand lane for straight ahead or turning right. Sadly nowadays lane disipline on roundabouts doe's not exist and it seems to be a free for all with many drivers changeing lanes when negotiating roundabouts and carving up other road users ad hoc.As long as this continues sadly many more accidents and possibly deaths will occur. youngashie
  • Score: 0

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