A motorcyclist died after hitting a pheasant in a freak accident on his way home from a trip to Rockingham Speedway.
Keen rider Christopher Adams, 54, had been to look at the race track in Corby while planning a future track day but on his way back, a pheasant flew into his visor and he crashed the bike.
An inquest at Kettering Magistrates Court last Thursday heard how Mr Adams was an accomplished and safe rider and kept his bike in great condition. He had been riding for 40 years.
The court was told how Mr Adams, from Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, was riding south on the A6116 between Corby and Thrapston.
Witness William Spencer, a farmer from Brigstock, told the court how he had been driving home on the northbound carriageway when he had seen a pheasant sitting on the white lines in the centre of the road.
Mr Spencer said: “I went past and it remained in the road. I noticed a motorcycle coming in the opposite direction.
“I went about 50 yards past the bike and saw an explosion of feathers in the my mirror.”
Witnesses said that before the accident Mr Adams had not been driving at an excessive speed and there was nothing unusual about his riding.
After hitting the pheasant, he seemed to keep the bike upright but it then accelerated into a layby and hit a bin, where it came to rest.
In a written statement to the court, son Bradley Adams said that his father had owned his Kawasaki motorbike since 2013 and he maintained it to a high standard. Bradley Adams said: “We’d arranged to go on a track day to Rockingham so he was there having a look around. I cannot put into words what losing my dad has meant to me. He will be missed by everybody.”
The pair had spoken on the phone that afternoon and Mr Adams had started his journey back when he hit the pheasant at about 4.45pm.
Crash investigator John Underwood said that a helmet clip was found in the road at the point of impact, suggesting the pheasant had flown straight into the visor, rendering Mr Adams either dazed or unconscious.
A post-mortem examination showed Mr Adams died of multiple injuries, but none of them individually would have caused his death. He had a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease but was otherwise in good health.
Coroner Ann Pember recorded a verdict of accidental death.