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Death of motorcyclist accidental, inquest finds

BBC Isle of Man reports Paul Taylor died after colliding with a car in April last year

Report by BBC Isle of Man

The death of a motorcyclist who crashed head-on into a car in the west of the Isle of Man was an accident, an inquest has found.

Paul Taylor, 59, died at the scene after colliding with a car on the A4 Peel coast road on 20 April last year.

The inquest at Douglas Courthouse heard he had been driving on the wrong side of the road and crashed into the car as it turned into a property.

The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The inquest heard the kitchen porter, who was originally from Cambridge, was an experienced rider, having ridden bikes since he was in his 20s.

Mr Taylor had moved to the island from Kent with his partner in 2019 after visiting several times on holiday and was passionate about motorbikes, the court was told.

Mr Taylor's partner said that he left their home in Port Erin that morning in "good spirits" to go for a ride around the island, something he often did in good weather, the inquest heard.

Several witnesses had seen him travelling on the road heading south from Kirk Michael to Peel on his red, white and blue Honda Fireblade prior to the crash.

The court heard that while Mr Taylor had initially been driving conservatively, his "manner of driving" had deteriorated during the journey.

In a statement, one driver told the court he had overtaken both Mr Taylor and another car on the road prior to the crash, before realising the stretch of the carriageway was subject to a 40mph (64km/h) temporary speed limit at the time.

Coroner James Brooks said this may have caused Mr Taylor to become frustrated.

Other motorists had described his driving thereafter as "erratic", where he carried out a number of "dodgy overtakes", one directly before a corner, the court heard.

At about 1pm BST Mr Taylor crashed into a car, driven by a woman who had her children and dog in the back of the vehicle, in the area of Knocksharry View.

The driver, who was treated for minor injuries, had described the bike approaching on the wrong side of the road and said she "could not make sense" of what she saw and had "no recollection" of the impact at all, the inquest heard.

Police investigations showed Mr Taylor had been driving at a reasonable speed for the derestricted road he was on, at about 60mph (96km/h), and the weather was clear and dry.

The court heard the 59-year-old suffered multiple injuries in the crash and died at the scene.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Brooks offered his condolences to Paul's family and friends, in particular his partner of 20 years.

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