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Fatal crash biker was speeding and over the limit

PUBLISHED: 13:04 16 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:31 07 September 2010

By Charlotte Newton A MOTORCYCLIST who died in a road accident on Crouch Hill was speeding and two-and-a-half times over the legal alcohol limit, an inquest heard. Andrew Johnson, 27, died after his bike hit the curb and then a bus shelter on the corner o

By Charlotte Newton

A MOTORCYCLIST who died in a road accident on Crouch Hill was speeding and two-and-a-half times over the legal alcohol limit, an inquest heard.

Andrew Johnson, 27, died after his bike hit the curb and then a bus shelter on the corner of Heathville Road and Crouch Hill at 1.50am on May 1 this year.

The maintenance engineer, of Haslemere Road, Crouch End, died at the scene from multiple injuries.

The Australian had been planning to return to the Gold Coast to propose to his long-term girlfriend Tammy Blake.

His family, who live in Australia, were unable to attend last Thursday's hearing at St Pancras Coroner's Court.

But speaking shortly after the crash, his older brother Duncan said: "Andrew was a very energetic, outgoing and fun person.

"He enjoyed rock climbing and was a volunteer with the bush fire brigade back in Australia."

PC Paul Summerton, of Chadwell Heath road traffic unit, told the inquest that Mr Johnson's Honda was in good working order and had no defects at the time of the crash.

The bus shelter was smashed in the accident and a Nissan car was damaged at the back after being pushed forward 60cm, he said.

"There is no indication that another vehicle was involved. It was a clear night and, although the road bends to the right, it is a gentle bend.

"Even if you were travelling at twice the speed limit, there is no reason why you could not take that bend. Unfortunately, it was the rider's error."

PC Summerton said that Winston Anderson had witnessed the crash and gave a full statement to police.

Mr Johnson had 2.1g of alcohol per litre of blood, an autopsy found. The legal limit is 0.8g.

Sgt Donald Simpson, of Euston road traffic accident unit, told the court that Mr Johnson had been travelling at between 50 to 60 mph at the time of the crash. The legal speed limit for Crouch Hill is 30mph.

Nurse Louise Lloyd, who works at the Royal London Hospital, was living on Crouch Hill at the time of the accident.

She attended the scene after hearing "a very loud bang".

Ms Lloyd, 32, told the court: "I was in bed asleep when I was suddenly awoken by a very loud bang. I thought a bomb had gone off.

"I looked out of the window and saw a man lying in the road with a motorcycle helmet on - then I realised he could not get up."

Ms Lloyd went to Mr Johnson's aid but realised that he had no pulse and was already dead. She waited with him until an ambulance arrived.

The coroner Dr Andrew Reid said: "Andrew Johnson died as a result of an accident to which excess speed and consumption of alcohol contributed."

He recorded a verdict of accidental death.

charlotte.newton@hamhigh.co.uk

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