Motoring Discussion > Motorcycle Incident Scotland. Part 1. Miscellaneous
Thread Author: Fullchat Replies: 13

 Motorcycle Incident Scotland. Part 1. - Fullchat
Some of you may recall that last September I submitted quite a long post in relation to a motorcycle incident that had occurred 12 months to the day previously.

Ironically the following day I received notification that as regards one of the people involved in a claim from the No Win No Fee solicitors appointed had been dropped. Due to the power of the internet and the potential to identify persons I thought it better that my post be temporarily withdrawn until notification that all potential civil proceedings had officially been withdrawn. Today was that day.

So to refresh your memories I will republish my original thread:

It is 1 year today since I an 12 other bikers set off for a trip to Scotland. First destination was to be Jedburgh and the next day onto Perth.

To give some background the group consisted members of 3 riding groups with the common denominator being my friend who we will call rider A. He brought members of the 3 groups together. I had been away to Scotland and Wales with some of them before and was familiar with the remainder.

I had been to Scotland with one rider, who we will call rider B, on a previous occasion. As a rider he was somewhat erratic. A confident rider but also a risk taker. He lived for his biking. He had previous for always wanting to be at the front, despite not being the ride leader, overtaking on solid whites and overtaking someone who was already overtaking. I’d had words before in a joking style about his manner of riding, often referring to the buying of cream cakes all round for infringements (a punishment inflicted on Police drivers during their driver training). He was an artic driver by profession who’d fairly recently accrued well over 11 points for 2 speeding offences but managed to hold onto his licence. As time has gone on various individuals who were not even in these particular groups but have had association with the individual and confirmed that it wasn’t a case of if but when. Having said all that, he was a likeable fellow with a wife and two late teenage children.

Our first destination was the A66 layby at Scotch Corner for a brew where one of the group indicates the canvas showing through his rear tyre and has to divert after making arrangements for some fresh rubber.

Our next destination was a café just outside Alston on the edge of Cumbria. We had lost one rider who we will call rider C but eventually managed to home him into our location by phone. Rider C had only recently passed his test and was riding cautiously.

The outside tables had jugs with numbered wooden spoons. I asked rider B to hold out his hand and tapped it with the spoon. “But I’ve paid all my cream cake fines.” Says he. “That’s not for what you have done, it’s for what you are going to do.” Just my way of subtly telling him to behave.

The route was to take us around the west of Keilder Forest to Newcastleton and onto Jedburgh.

The group set off but soon got split up. I remained behind rider C as it was clear he was struggling to maintain the pace and didn’t wish to destroy his confidence by overtaking with everyone else. I didn’t want to lose him again and I had the routes.

We arrived at Newcastleton and regrouped having been split up. I was the last bike there with rider C infront. Some refuelled and we set off along the B6357 towards Bonchester Bridge. A nice twisty road in good condition.

The group got split in half with the first group disappearing into the distance and the second group’s progress being dictated by cautious rider C.

Some of us were connected by Bluetooth intercoms.

As we reached a long straight rider A announces he is overtaking me and does so. A few seconds later rider B does likewise (his intercom is not connected). They both overtake rider C who is directly infront of me.

So now in order we have riders A, B, C , myself and a rider we will call rider D and another couple of bikes behind him.

I’ve interspersed some photos as things progress:,-2.6642999,3a,15y,8.8h,86.31t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sVQG2n-xlzD-p5ggnYWW_EA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?hl=en

In the next phot you will see the road bends to the right. What is lost due to the height of the camera is that the road rises to a crest then drops away quite sharply, bends to the right and then left.,-2.6629141,3a,75y,61.09h,73.66t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s-AcEw9Tlg6jzrx9-HhVJHQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?hl=en

From a distance of around of about 200X I see rider A go over the crest followed by rider B.

The next thing I see is rider B still on his bike flying through the air and out of sight. I then see rider B having parted company with his bike flying through the air and disappear into the undergrowth. I shout “One down!” over the intercom.

As we reach the crest rider C, infront of me, continues straight on over the gravel layby, over a ditch and impact the bank. He is thrown off his bike. (Presumably distracted by what had occurred infront) I shout “Two down!”

As I’m coming to a halt rider D comes up my nearside and carries straight on over the gravel and does exactly the same as rider C and comes off his bike.

I call "Three down! " over the intercom.

I park up and two bikes pull up behind me. Professional head on and first thing is a quick assessment of riders C & D. They are conscious, responding and moving. Appearing to be shaken but not stirred.

Now to find rider B. I cannot see his bike or him. I walk around the corner and am met by rider A on foot who had heard me call "One down". I walk further away from the impact area are and find bike B laid in the ditch adjacent to the road but no visible rider. After several shout outs I receive a response and a search of the undergrowth finds rider B laid in another ditch. If you zoom out of the 3rd image you can see the ditch running across the mouth of the Y shape road/track junction. Its an older image to the rest as the area is now totally de-forested.

He's conscious and responding but clearly in need of not moving and medical assistance.

Telephone reception was poor but fortunately I'd suggested we all download the What 3 Words App incase of separation or incident so once contact had been made were able to summon Ambulance and Police.

At that point in time as far as I was concerned, and later corroborated, we had 3 individual collisions and no an immediate concern for rider B who was transported to hospital.

Riders C and D were now up and walking about, shaken but not stirred.

Rider D was able to extricate his bike and with a few adjustments the bike was rideable. He wanted to get to the hotel and rider A volunteered to escort him Rider C's bike was not rideable and recovery was arranged.

Rider A admitted that he had gone over the crest, realised that the bend was sharper than anticipated, couldn’t brake or swerve on the gravel layby so carried straight on. Fortunately, he was more to the right so hit the verge, travelled along it and regained the road. He was not aware of what had happened to rider B behind him at that point.

It appeared that rider B was more to the left, again confronted by the bend sharper than anticipated, travelled straight on but hit the verge bank which launched him and the bike into the air. They travelled airborne for some distance before the bike impacted with the side of the ditch and launched the rider again into the air.

The Police completed a limited initial scene investigation due to no serious concerns for rider B at that time. The scene was cleared and everyone resumed. A fatal or potential fatal entails much greater initial scene investigation.

We all met up at our hotel in Jedburgh with rider B detained in hospital.

The following day rider C went home as a pillion with another of the group members and D was able to ride his bike home. Both were bruised and stiff from their ordeal. The riding group now numbered 9 who continued with the tour.

The main trip had a WhatsApp group for organisation and information purposes and each individual group had pre-existing WhatsApp groups for their own activities.

And then it started.

just shortened one map link as it was too long and making the right hand menu conceal a critical part of the story
Last edited by: R.P. on Mon 20 Mar 23 at 23:11
 Motorcycle Incident Scotland. Part 2. - Fullchat
Unfortunately 2 weeks after the incident rider B died as a result of secondary complications to injuries sustained.

You may recall that I mentioned that there were several WhatsApp groups in existence relating to the individual groups making up the party and one specifically for the trip itself. However very quickly as certain members of the group left the trip speculation and blame reared its ugly head around the circumstances and actions of certain members namely yours truly and rider A. It became quite hostile.

A whole different scenario developed to what had actually occurred and that filtered into members of one group who weren't even there, but all had an opinion, and also to the widow. It got quite nasty and to the point where myself and rider A were asked not to attend the funeral. It really snowballed. Whether the circumstances of the incident were manufactured, whether it is just the way of the ‘serious rumour machine’ or whether it is that tradition of always finding someone to blame, I’m not certain. Maybe a combination of all three. However what developed takes me towards the former.

A specialist 'No win no fee' outfit were instructed by the injured parties as blame was now being apportioned based on the ‘manufactured’ circumstances.

The first that was heard by rider A from his insurance company was that there was a claim against him from inexperienced rider C who suggested he was cut up and he 'high sided'. There was no mention at that point that there was also a fatality involved in the incident and the insurance company seemed unaware of the full facts surrounding the incident. They were duly informed and that changed. A specialist 3rd party firm were employed to investigate the incident on behalf of the insurers. WhatsApp content was all forensically downloaded as it contained relevant material.

Statements were recorded from relevant witnesses who were involved, including rider D. Detailed data was downloaded and analysed from a security tracking device and a Ride App.

Every piece of information indicated that the claims made on behalf of the 2 claimants B & C had absolutely no foundation and their legal representatives withdrew their support. Rider A has been deemed not to be at fault.

It's been a long journey. You have to wonder how and why it got to where it did and the amount of time and expense involved in disproving a spurious claim. What I have no doubt was to their being no causation in the incident by Rider A and my integrity as a witness has remained intact despite accusations to the contrary.

Above all I feel deeply sorry for the family of the deceased as they were led up the garden path by a bunch of chancers.
Last edited by: Fullchat on Thu 16 Mar 23 at 21:36
 Motorcycle Incident Scotland. Part 2. - Bobby

Lost for words to say other than glad everything turned out ok for you and without being shallow, the deceased , by all accounts, was only a matter of time before that happened.
 Motorcycle Incident Scotland. Part 2. - Bobby
And as an aside, but relevant, death does strange things to families.

My wife who is a hospice nurse was saying tonight that they have two families trying to push legal “No win no fees” claims against them for family members who were taken in with terminal illness and died.

Hospice is having to go through all sorts of hoops, dedicate loads of resources to answer all queries from the lawyers for what, in reality, has been standard “run of the mill “ terminal illness deaths.
 Motorcycle Incident Scotland. Part 2. - Zero
I am afraid its sad reflection of the ambulance chasing lawyer days we live in.
 Motorcycle Incident Scotland. Part 2. - bathtub tom
I don't know if it's folk trying to get compo for no good reason, or if it's the result of grief, trying to blame someone else for something beyond anyone's control.

I used to work with a colleague who would often state "someone ought to do something about it it" What he meant was "someone else ought to do.................................
 Motorcycle Incident Scotland. Part 2. - R.P.
Shocking story.

Looking at the scene (the tinyURL link) there appear to be a lot of tyre marks on the gravel, including a set that lead right into the grassed area, I wonder if that was another excursion off road ?

Mentioned elsewhere that I was up in the lakes end of last month with two other riders, there was some "technical" riding but no scary bits - I'm fussed who I go riding with these days and both my companions were excellent safe riders.

It must have been a very frightening incident.
 Motorcycle Incident Scotland. Part 2. - Fullchat
In the first instance is was somewhat surreal with 3 bikes coming off the road infront of me.

To be frank I was a little uncomfortable riding with such a large group and being aware of the riding styles of some of them. It can work if everyone is disciplined and works as a team but its small groups in future.

Judging by the remnants of vehicle plastic and incident tape I formed the impression that it was a collision 'hotspot'.

Strangely last summer I was out for a ride with an old colleague and was telling him about the incident and he informed me that he had been riding up near Kielder and had lost a riding mate behind. He turned around an re traced his steps and found that his mate had ridden off the road and into a ditch and was trying to recover it. He searched through photographs on his his phone and lo and behold it was the same location!!

If you look at the first two pictures I have this feeling that sub consciously from a distance the riders thought that the road went up to the left, which is infact a track, and planned their riding accordingly only to suddenly realise too late and in the absence of appropriate signage that the road went to the right which was masked by the crest.
Last edited by: Fullchat on Tue 21 Mar 23 at 15:36
 Motorcycle Incident Scotland. Part 2. - Zero
One lousy small little warning sign, on an abnormally short post, hidden by a bush. Nothing else, no change in white lines.
 Motorcycle Incident Scotland. Part 2. - Fullchat
A few of us went back to Scotland this year and stopped at the scene. There is now a prominent deviation board on the approach, the ditch has been filled and the top of the bank smoothed off so that anyone now leaving the road will now have a run off area on which to slow down without issue. Speed dependent of course.
 Motorcycle Incident Scotland. Part 2. - bathtub tom
>>In the first instance is was somewhat surreal with 3 bikes coming off the road infront of me.

I did that as a hot headed teenager. The first misjudged the bend and went through a (fotunately rotten) gate. Two of us behind, trying to keep up, followed! Lesson learned.
 Motorcycle Incident Scotland. Part 2. - Bromptonaut
>> I am afraid its sad reflection of the ambulance chasing lawyer days we live in.

And yet, and yet, should somebody with a legitimate claim be prevented from pursuing it because they cannot afford to pay for a lawyer?

I'm not clear how, with the facts as outlined in the OP, the claim against other riders would have been different in ages past if the prospective claimants had been getting Legal Aid.

They presented at their lawyers with what looked like a plausible claim. The lawyers were then told it's all row locks; the actual facts are these. Lawyers get that looked at, at no cost to Fullchat and his friends, and tell their clients to go forth. Losers are either the lawyers or the people insuring them for No win/no fee claims that don't succeed.

In so far as there are ambulance chasing chancers they're a direct and foreseeable consequence of public policy under governments of both stripes and their policies on public funding of claims.
 Motorcycle Incident Scotland. Part 2. - Zero
>> >> I am afraid its sad reflection of the ambulance chasing lawyer days we live
>> in.
>> And yet, and yet, should somebody with a legitimate claim be prevented from pursuing it
>> because they cannot afford to pay for a lawyer?

Almost certainly legal action would not have been considered or warranted had they not been tapped up by the "ambulance chasers" Had there been any blame or causal factors by anyone else other than the rider, the police would have prosecuted. Then monetary compensation can be sought,

The problem is, it costs. Us, you and me. We pay for it.

Dieselgate is another. People who have suffered no financial loss are being corralled and cajoled by the sharks on the promise of easy money. They don't realise it inflates the price of their next car.
 Motorcycle Incident Scotland. Part 1. - Manatee
Very interesting.
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