An inquest before HM Assistant Coroner Jonathan Heath took place on the 9 July 2019 to investigate the death of a motorcyclist who died on the 29 May 2018.

Our Partner and Head of Personal Injury Gareth Naylor represented the brother of the deceased, Mathew.

On the 29 May 2018 Mathew was riding his motorcycle along the B1222 from Cawood towards the Squires Café in Sherburn-in-Elmet with his brother Phil.  Mathew gave evidence at the inquest that as he approached the junction with Long Lane on his left a vehicle pulled out into his path.  Mathew stated that he swerved to his right and managed to avoid the vehicle.  Sadly, his brother Phil who was following collided with the same vehicle.

TC Taylor from North Yorkshire Police carried out a forensic examination of the scene and found that Phil, following his brother Mathew, was travelling at an average speed of 52mph and that the driver of the vehicle had a view of 104 meters of approaching traffic from his right.  Despite this, the driver failed to see either motorcyclist and pulled out into their path.  Phil took evasive action by swerving to his right but the vehicle moved further into his path making a collision unavoidable.

Tragically, Phil sustained multiple injuries and died at the scene.

It was suggested to Mathew that the accident was his fault, he was questioned on suspicion of causing death by driving without due care and attention and was told that the inquest would probably reach the conclusion that the cause of death was misadventure, i.e. death caused by a person accidentally while performing a legal act without negligence or intent to harm.

M stated;

“The investigating officers treated me as the culprit and the driver of the car as a victim from the outset. I was not even at the scene when the accident happened yet they questioned me on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.  Waiting for months to see if I was going to be prosecuted for the death of my brother put a huge strain on me and my family. They seized my leathers and motorcycle and then told me to pay a fee to get them back.  They showed no compassion for the loss of my brother yet gave the driver of the vehicle immense support after the accident and during the inquest.

It has been a devastating experience that no one deserves to find themselves in, however Ison Harrison and specifically Gareth made the experience bearable by being professional and taking control of the situation on my behalf. Gareth made the day in court easier for me and helped guide me through the process showing compassion and respect for me and family throughout. I will reiterate the past 16 months have been hell but appointing Gareth to represent me was a good decision.”

Gareth Naylor stated;

Mathew and his family have showed great courage and dignity throughout this horrendous ordeal and inquest.  I was very disappointed to learn how Mathew and his family had been treated by the investigating officers following the accident but I am very happy that the facts of that tragic day were fully investigated and that the correct conclusion was reached.  Despite assertions from other interested parties, TC Taylor was robust in his evidence, maintaining that speed did not play a part in this accident and that it was solely due to driver of the vehicle failing to properly check for vehicles approaching from the right and exiting the junction into the path of the motorcyclists.  HM Assistant Coroner Heath showed great compassion and carried out a full and fearless investigation into the accident and concluded that the cause of death was a road traffic collision. The brief supplementary narrative confirmed that Phil collided with a vehicle which had exi
ted a junction.

Gareth Naylor is a keen advocate for motorcyclists and represents them amongst others at inquests and pursues claims for damages on their behalf for what are usually catastrophic injuries. If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact Gareth directly on 0113 2845014 or by e-mail on

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