Biker made ‘eye contact’ with lorry driver before being killed in crash

An Essex motorcyclist was killed after he crashed into a crash barrier on a major road in North Wales.

52-year-old Nigel Darwood died after he abruptly left the A483 carriageway at the slip road with the B5426 near Johnstown in Wrexham on Friday, July 10 last year.

He lost control of his Yamaha 950 bike, smashing into a crash barrier and suffering a serious head injuries, an inquest has heard yesterday (Tuesday, September 15).

As reported by NorthWalesLive, an inquest into Mr Darwood’s death on Tuesday, September 15 discussed the details of what happened that day.

The court heard Mr Darwood was in a convoy with his wife and fellow biking enthusiast Georgina at the time of the crash.

The three bikers were travelling along the A483 towards Wrexham.

Sadly, the forklift driver from Basildon, Essex wouldn’t make it to his destination.

Sign up to the EssexLive newsletter

If you’re looking for a way to stay up to date with the latest breaking news from around Essex, the EssexLive newsletter is a good place to start. 

The daily update will deliver the top news and features to your inbox every morning and evening. 

We choose the most important stories of the day to include in the newsletter, including crime, court news, long reads, traffic and travel, food and drink articles and more.

Signing up to the newsletter is simple. Just put your email address in the box at the top of this story and click ‘subscribe’. 

It’s one of the many ways that you can read the news that matters to you from EssexLive.

Despite the efforts of paramedics in attendance, Mr Darwood was pronounced dead at the scene.

The inquest heard how witnesses revealed that they saw Mr Darwood “fly into the air while still holding the handles” before being thrown off the bike and landing on the ground.

Prior to the crash, Mr Darwood and friend Georgina had been driving in the outside lane, before they reportedly cut in front of a HGV lorry travelling in the inside lane.

It came after Mrs Darwood realised they almost missed their junction.

While she managed to cross the shevron markings and leave the junction, her husband’s “snap decision to follow” caused him to lose control of his bike after striking a grass verge, collision investigators said.

The HGV driver said he “made eye contact” with Mr Darwood as he pulled in front of his vehicle.

In a statement read out to the court, the lorry driver said: “He looked over his left shoulder and made eye contact with me. I said ‘Oh God, what’s he doing here?’

“I was shocked by what I’d seen.”

Want the latest news? Download the EssexLive app

The team at EssexLive are committed to bringing our readers breaking news, in-depth features, and exclusive content from the four corners of Essex.

Whether it’s the latest from court trials, traffic updates on the roads, or breaking news incidents from where you are – we have the county covered.

From Colchester to Chelmsford, Grays to Great Dunmow, we bring you the news that matters most to you.

To keep updated with what is happening across the county, download the new EssexLive app now on the Apple Store.

A second witness added that the shocking movements that the pair made on their bikes were “like something out of a movie.”

“It was dangerous and crazy,” said the witness.

John Gittins, Coroner for North East Wales and Central, recorded the cause of death as a fatal head injury.

Following the tragic death last year, Mr Darwood’s family described him as a “hard working and dedicated family man” and a “loving husband, father, and grandad”.

Essex Live