South Yorkshire biker died after hitting wall

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A father-of-two died after losing control of his off-road motorbike as he tested it close to the scrapyard where he worked.

Craig Baker, aged 26, died in October last year after his new Yamaha bike crashed into a wall near to his employer Geoff Ripley & Sons’ vehicle dismantling yard in Carlton, Barnsley.

An inquest held in Sheffield heard Mr Baker, from Birkwood Avenue, Barnsley, had died from shock after suffering multiple injuries when he was thrown from the vehicle.

He had not been wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Assistant coroner Louise Slater concluded Mr Baker’s death had been an accident.

No faults found with either his bike or the road surface.

The inquest heard Mr Baker had been a keen off-road biker and had purchased the bike involved in the fatal collision in the summer.

Mr Baker’s partner Carly Green, who is the mother of his two young daughters, said she had warned him not to get the bike in a statement read to the inquest.

“I didn’t want him to have another bike because I was frightened he might get hurt. He kept telling me he was ok,” she said.

Miss Green said it had been hard for her to cope since the accident.

She added the pair, who had been in a relationship since the age of 18, had been planning to get married.

“Since the crash, my life is in suspense. 
“I’m strong for the children but struggle when I’m alone at night,” she said.

Collision investigator Darrell McPherson said the tyres of the off-road bike were not suited to normal road surfaces due to their lack of grip.

He said: “The analogy I would give is if you were walking across a tarmac road it is the difference between plimsolls and football boots.”

PC McPherson said the bike had run through some puddles by the side of the road after Mr Baker turned it around to head back towards the yard.

He said he couldn’t say whether Mr Baker had taken the bike through the puddles intentionally or not.

He said when the bike went back on the smooth road surface, the off-road tyres “afforded little traction”.

PC McPherson said: “Unfortunately, he was unable to react in time to avoid colliding with a boundary wall.”

He added the bike had just been fixed before the accident because Mr Baker had problems getting it to start.

He said Mr Baker did not have a full motorcycle licence, but was experienced in using off-road bikes.

Mrs Slater said: “There was no other car or vehicle involved.

“It was on a road but not a main road. It was quite clear Craig died as a result of an accident.”