Motorcyclist died after crashing bike on Kettering service station slip road, inquest hears

The inquest was held at the Kettering Council offices
The inquest was held at the Kettering Council offices

A motorcyclist was more than twice the drink drive limit when he crashed his bike on a slip road, an inquest has heard.

Andrew Plumb, 43, of Doddington Road, Cransley, died on September 17 last year following an accident on the A14 eastbound slip road to the BP service station between Junctions 8 and 9 at Kettering.

An inquest into his death in Kettering yesterday (Thursday) heard Mr Plumb had been out to lunch the day before he died and went to the shop afterwards where he bought two two-litre bottles of cider and a bottle of vodka.

A statement by Professor Guy Rutty, chief forensic pathologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary, read out by coroner Anne Pember said Mr Plumb’s alcohol level was 172mcg per 100ml of blood, which is more than twice the drink drive limit.

Mrs Pember then read out a statement by Andrew Terrell of Bedford, who had parked at the service station and noticed a motorcycle in the ditch.

He said: “I initially thought someone had crashed and left it there.”

But then he saw someone lying nearby so went to ask the service station staff if they knew anything.

When they said no, the emergency services were called.

The inquest also heard a statement from Geraldine Davies, who had met Andew about a month before his death.

She said they had become close, spoke and texted each other almost every day and had been out for lunch the day before he died.

Geraldine went home at 3pm and they exchanged a number of texts during the evening, but by 10.30pm the texts became unpleasant and it led her to believe he had been drinking.

She received another text at 12.30am saying he was going out on his motorbike so she phoned him and he said something about problems with his helmet or putting it on before the phone cut out.

Geraldine tried calling again, but the phone went to voicemail.

She later found out from a friend of Andrew’s that he had been involved in an accident.

John Underwood, forensic collision investigator for Northamptonshire Police, told the inquest Mr Plumb had collided with a large box containing material to put on a fuel spill and he had been thrown from the bike, colliding with some railings.

He said the bike was in fifth gear at the time, and added: “Andrew was more than twice the limit for driving.”

He said he believed the accident was a result of excess alcohol and excess speed.

A statement from Mr Plumb’s father Hartley Plumb said Andrew was born in Wellingborough and grew up in Geddington.

He had set up his own business and this was going well.

His father said Andrew was very popular, and added: “Andrew will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.”

In conclusion, coroner Mrs Pember said Mr Plumb had lost control of his bike ‘for reasons unknown’ but excess speed and alcohol would have affected his ability to drive.

She recorded a verdict of accidental death.