Motorcyclist died in Harpenden just three days after receiving bike: inquest told

The junction of Kinsbourne Green Lane and London Road

The junction of Kinsbourne Green Lane and London Road - Credit: Archant

A collision in Harpenden resulted in the instantaneous death of a motorcyclist who had only obtained his bike three days earlier and did not have a full licence, an inquest has heard.

Ricky Venge, formerly known as Ricky Uren, of Toddington Road in Luton, died after colliding with a delivery van carrying paint on the junction of London Road (A1081) and Kinsbourne Green Lane on September 10 last year.

At last Thursday’s inquest, Herts Coroner Edward Thomas said a post-mortem showed that Mr Venge, 46, had died instantaneously as a result of multiple injuries.

A toxicology report showed there was no alcohol in his blood.

The coroner’s court heard from four witnesses including the driver of the van, Ben Rowley, and a motorist who arrived at the junction shortly after the collision.

Mr Rowley was delivering paint for Dulux in a Ford Transit van, and was travelling from Flamstead.

He told the court that upon approaching the junction from Kinsbourne Green Lane, and checking both directions, he drove forward onto the A1081 as the main road appeared “empty”.

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However, Mr Rowley said: “As I was turning right, this motorbike was speeding at me. I was in the middle of the road, and it was speeding quickly. I was really scared – you kind of freeze.

“I was in the middle of the road, still turning. The motorbike tried to go in front of the van. I used to drive motorbikes when I was younger, and I was always told to go behind vehicles.

“I was extremely surprised to see him. I felt a big impact, which lifted up the back of the van.”

After the collision Mr Rowley immediately phoned the emergency services.

He said: “I was screaming at them. I didn’t know what the name of the road was.”

Among the first to the scene, along with a RAC mechanic and a GP, was motorist Paul Williams, who was driving from Harpenden to Luton.

He had been overtaken by the motorcyclist moments earlier.

Mr Venge’s partner, who attended the inquest, asked Mr Williams what he did upon arriving at the aftermath of the collision.

Mr Williams replied that he could hear Mr Rowley giving directions to the emergency services, so he attended to Mr Venge at the roadside.

Pc Rupert Gadd, investigating officer for the Herts Police road crash unit, said Mr Venge only had a provisional licence, and was “not entitled to drive [the motorbike] at all.”

His bike had been delivered just three days earlier, and had been in good condition.

Pc Anthony Winter, forensic collision investigator, said Mr Venge was travelling at a minimum speed of 73 miles an hour upon impact, but it was possible “it could have been in the 80s”.

Mr Thomas told Mr Rowley: “You didn’t see Mr Venge, otherwise you wouldn’t have pulled out. There is no doubt he was over the speed limit at the time.

“The problem with bikes is that they are so vulnerable. I’m concerned he didn’t have a proper licence, as this was a powerful bike.”

Describing Mr Venge’s death as “very sad”, Mr Thomas ruled that he died of multiple traumatic injuries.

The fatality occured on a stretch of road with a 60 mile an hour speed limit.