Great Britain

Speeding motorcyclist without helmet died in horror smash after drinking and taking cocaine, inquest told

A motorcyclist who died in a horror smash after drinking and taking cocaine was not wearing a helmet, an inquest heard yesterday.

Trafford Quantrill-Stott’s decision-making was “impaired” due to the drink and drugs and “he stood very little chance of avoiding serious injury” due to his lack of protection.

The 21-year-old labourer, of Scholemoor Lane, Bradford, was thrown from the stolen motorbike he was riding at speed after clipping a traffic island and losing control of the vehicle. He collided with a parked car, causing him multiple injuries and died shortly afterwards.

Bradford Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Quantrill-Stott had been celebrating his mother Debbie’s 40th birthday, on May 10, 2019, the day he died.

In a heart-rending statement read out at the inquest, his grandmother Ann Quantrill said: “Trafford was not even interested in motorbikes. It must have been a spur of the moment act which cost him his life.”

She added that his mother Debbie was so distressed by his untimely death, that they believe it caused her death eight weeks later from a brain aneurysm.

“We carry on every day because we must, but life will never be the same again for any of us,” she added.

An emotional tribute written by Mr Quantrill-Stott’s younger sister Codie, described “Traff” as “my rock, basically my twin”.

Of the collision the inquest heard that witnesses, including two officers in a nearby police vehicle, described how they spotted a man driving a motorbike without a helmet on Clayton Road at around 7pm.

He was driving above the 30mph speed limit and overtaking a line of traffic by moving on to the opposite side of the road.

PC Richard Murgatroyd described in his statement how he heard a motorcycle which “sounded like it was travelling at speed” and checked his mirrors to see the vehicle being driven on the wrong side of the road as it overtook their car. There were chevrons in the centre of the two lanes and two separate traffic islands and the motorbike attempted to cut in front while travelling at around 40mph.

“The front wheel of the motorcycle clipped the traffic island and swerved left and right, then began to slide across the floor,” he said.

Mr Quantrill-Stott hit a stationary car, and the motorcycle ended up 30 metres away, he added. The officers found the rider lying on his back and he was “in a bad way”.

Two passers-by, a nurse and a GP, were able to administer CPR until the paramedics arrived, with Mr Quantrill-Stott being pronounced dead at Leeds General Infirmary at 8.15pm.

Forensic collision investigator Robert Eyre told the inquest that Mr Quantrill-Stott had been riding a KTM Duke motorcycle, which had been stolen some months before and had false plates. There was no suggestion Mr Quantrill-Stott was involved in the theft.

“There was scratching and gouging marks to the edge of the pedestrian island and the front and rear wheels of the motorcycle had buckling and severe damage.”

He added that the collision was captured on CCTV and it backed up the results of their investigations, adding: “The motorcycle became airborne and didn’t touch down for some distance and when it did, it was at an angle meaning the rider could not regain control.”

He explained that the cause of the accident had been due to the rider and the fact that he was travelling in excess of the speed limit and was attempting to overtake on the wrong side of the road. His injuries were exacerbated by the fact he had no helmet or protective clothing, he concluded. A post mortem examination by Dr Richard Knights outlined how Mr Quantrill-Stott had died as a result of multiple injuries, including fractures to the ribs, pelvis and hip, lung contusions, an aortic haemorrhage and brain trauma.

Toxicology results showed he had drunk the equivalent of three pints of beer and was over the drink-drive limit, as well as having taken cocaine recently. This would have led to a “significant impairment in driving a motor vehicle”, the coroner’s court heard.

Assistant coroner Peter Merchant concluded: “At the time, he was driving impaired. This was a death as a result of a road traffic accident.

"The cause of death is down to driver error, moving at speeds in excess of the limit and attempting a manoeuvre and in the course of doing so, clipping the traffic island.”