Maesycwmmer biker died after getting caught in gust of wind on Severn Bridge
9:01am Monday 30th September 2013 in Gwent news
A pensioner who had more than 50 years' motorcycling experience died after his bike got caught in a gust of wind crossing the Severn Bridge, an inquest heard last week.
Raymond Winford Jenkins, 72, a retired company director from Maesycwmmer, owned four motorcycles and had ridden across the UK and the continent since he was around 16 years of age.
He had just returned from a seven-month holiday in Tenerife when, at 5.50pm on Friday, May 24 this year, he was riding eastbound on the Second Severn Crossing when he completed a safe overtake from lane two into lane one.
Witness Allan Hopkins told the court that as Mr Jenkins moved back into lane one, he noticed a "fishtail" wheel wobble on the motorbike and it veered onto the hard shoulder into the crash barrier.
Rider and motorcycle became separated and the bike then careered across into the central reservation, causing three cars in the third lane to be involved in a separate shunt.
Mr Hopkins stopped his car and got out to speak to Mr Jenkins, who was able to give his name and where he was from. He later lost consciousness.
PC 530 Dean Burnett, who retired from the police service last week after 30 years, said traffic was travelling at speeds of 55 to 60 miles per hour when Mr Jenkins lost control.
He said there was no defect in the road surface or Mr Jenkins' bike which caused the accident, but that witnesses said he was leaning into the wind and Mr Jenkins told witnesses at the scene that the wind had caught him.
A post-mortem showed Mr Jenkins had died of a fractured spine, blunt trauma and ischemic heart disease.
Wendy James, area coroner for Gwent sitting in Newport last week, said there was no evasive action Mr Jenkins could have taken to avert the crash and ruled that he died as a result of a road traffic collision.
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