Broken gearbox spring may have led to Notts biker’s death

David Smith

David Smith

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A broken spring in the gearbox of a powerful motorbike may have caused a Mansfield man to crash and die on a country lane, an inquest heard today.

David Anthony Smith lost control his powerful Ducati bike on a clear, dry day in May this year but was not thought to be speeding.

The 29-year-old, who had lived on Pye Avenue, had been riding along the A620 road between Retford and Gainsborough when his bike clipped the kerb on a bend.

It sent him into ditch and the bike skidding along a grass verge.

He died later in hospital from chest injuries. No traces of alcohol or other substances were found in his blood.

The inquest at Nottinghamshire Coroner’s Court was told by forensic investigators that the broken spring in the gearbox had been found on the Ducati 848 bike.

Pc Peter Paynton said it was unlikely to have caused the crash, but may have distracted Mr Smith enough to lose control if it had broken just moments before the crash.

Several witnesses driving along the same stretch of road said they heard the bike’s engine rev just before Mr Smith crashed.

Pc Paynton said that could have been caused by the spring breaking and putting the bike into a ‘false neutral’.

Nottinghamshire coroner Mairin Casey said: “We can’t identify what caused this collision, and I’m satisfied no alcohol or any other substance played a part.

“I’m satisfied that the manner of David’s driving did not contribute to the incident, but through a process of elimination we have to work out the most likely causes are.

“Topping the list is the issue of the broken spring. If it happened immediately prior to the collision and he had never experienced it before, it would have caused an element of alarm and may have caused him to be distracted and caused a lack of stability.

“The high revs were noted by the witnesses and this ties in with this particular problem.”

She concluded that Mr Smith had died in a road traffic accident.