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.