Biker was distracted during fatal crash at Alconbury

WHEN a group of 20 Hell’s Angels spotted a police speed check on the A1(M) at Alconbury in March, one of them lost concentration and his life, an inquest in Huntingdon heard.

WHEN a group of 20 Hell’s Angels spotted a police speed check on the A1(M) at Alconbury in March, one of them lost concentration and his life, an inquest in Huntingdon heard.

Even though the group was travelling at less than the speed limit, the leading riders eased off. But one whose attention was taken by the police patrol car or something else lost control of his 1,450cc Harley Davidson and fell off the machine, Cambridgeshire Coroner David Morris decided.

The rider, 59-year-old John Surridge, from London and known as ‘Charger’, died later that day, March 27, from multiple injuries sustained in the accident.

Two other riders behind the victim also fell from their Harleys but were not seriously hurt.


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Police Sergeant Stephen Watson said he had spotted the group in lane four of the motorway and believed they were travelling at a lawful speed, which he checked at around 65mph.

The front bikes appeared to change speed, and he became aware of traffic starting to take avoiding action. He then saw two bikes in the road and two casualties lying in lanes two or three. Both were breathing, and he called an ambulance to the worse casualty.

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Christopher Parr, also from London, was riding a second Harley cruiser behind Charger, his friend of 20 years, said the group had set off from the South Mimms service area heading north, but with no particular destination in mind.

“It was a relaxed ride, with no rush to get anywhere,” he told Mr Morris. “All of a sudden and for no obvious reason, Charger’s bike went on its side with Charger sliding behind it. I braked as hard as I could. I was frightened I was going to run him over.”

Mr Parr said one of the following bikes collided with him and both riders came off.

“We were all travelling at about 60mph, so the presence of the officer would not have caused us any concern. We weren’t speeding, but it’s an automatic reaction to roll off the throttle.”

He said Charger was a very experienced year-round motorcyclist, who did not own a car.

The coroner said it appeared Mr Surridge “was not watching quite as carefully as he might have been.

“He appears to have been distracted by the police vehicle or some other incident and momentarily lost attention before applying his brakes. He fell from his motorcycle and died from multiple injuries sustained.”

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