Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Video Gives No Clue as to Why Biker Ian Crashed

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Video Gives No Clue as to Why Biker Ian Crashed

Article excerpt

Byline: Lisa Hutchinson Reporter

THE last moments of top Northumberland motorbike rider Ian Bell was caught on video but gave no clue as to why he lost control in a 100mph crash on the final day of the Isle of Man TT, an inquest heard.

Ian, from Bedlington, was racing in a sidecar team with his son Carl on June 10 when tragedy struck.

They had already completed two laps of the 37-mile TT course at well over 110mph, and were a quarter of the way around the circuit on their third lap when he crashed and died at the scene.

Chief sector marshal David Dentith told the hearing at Douglas Courthouse in the Isle of Man he'd spotted the sidecar coming into view at a corner known as Ballaspur.

He said he saw Carl, the passenger, over on the right of the machine - usually passengers lean out to the left at that bend.

Mr Dentith described how the LCR600 Yahama ran wide into the corner, hitting crash barriers before idling to a stop on the opposite side of the road.

Coroner John Needham was told race marshals rushed to Ian's aid and performed CPR until a doctor arrived in a helicopter.

They were unable to save him and he was declared dead at the scene.

Isle of Man Government vehicle examiner Anthony Bode said he'd gone over the sidecar after the crash but found it to be in perfect condition except for damage to its bodywork.

Police officers said the weather had been bright and sunny and there was nothing on the road that could have contributed to the crash.

Video footage from a camera mounted on the motorbike and one at the side of the road caught the accident, but gave no clue as to why 58-year-old Ian lost control.

He owned Ian Bell's Motorcycles shop in Bedlington and after his death, more than 500 bikers lined the street outside the premises as the hearse pulled up and the region's biking community said their last farewells.

And the leather-clad gang were clearly saddened by the loss of the man they called their friend as they revved their engines and clapped, after holding a minute's silence in his honour. …

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