Drink-drive warning as biker dies

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A CORONER has warned against the dangers of drinking and driving following the death of a motorcyclist.

At an inquest into the death of Mark Bower, Greater Manchester Deputy Coroner Alan Walsh said that lessons could be learnt following the death of the 25-year-old.

Mr Bower crashed after seemingly losing control of his Kawasaki motorcycle in the early hours of Sunday January 31 on the Atherleigh Way and Lovers Lane junction near Howe Bridge.

Passing a verdict of accidental death, Mr Walsh said: “He drove his motorbike while twice the drink drive limit and whilst he was a competent rider, his reactions could have been affected. He was probably travelling in excess of the speed limit and suffered unsurvivable injuries. Motorbikes are dangerous machines, particularly when driven at speed.”

The court heard how Mr Bower, of Winstanley Road, Bamfurlong, had been at his brother David’s house in Bond Street, Leigh.

Both had consumed alcohol and David told the court via a written statement that Mark had decided to stay overnight. To ensure he couldn’t drive his motorbike, David said he had taken his keys off him and put them in his own bedside table as he went to sleep at around 1am.

Mr Bower, a fork lift truck driver, crashed later that morning at around 3.30am. His father, Mark Nightingale. told the court that the only place he could be going on the route he was travelling was to the house of his girlfriend, Vicky Davis.

At the hearing at Bolton Corner’s Court, a witness to the accident, John Cunliffe, gave evidence. He said: “I was in my van on my way to work at the junction of Lovers Lane when I saw the bike coming through the red light on the opposite side of the road. He appeared to be driving very quickly and as the junction bends slightly he seemed to lose it. He hit the kerb and both he and the bike landed further up the road.

Police tried to resuscitate Mark at the scene, as did paramedics, but he was pronounced dead on arrival at Wigan Infirmary.