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Police advise motorcyclists to 'ride defensively and expect the unexpected'

PUBLISHED: 07:30 30 November 2016 | UPDATED: 15:39 30 November 2016

The scene on the A10 at Hilgay, where Angel Fernandez died. Photo: Archant Library

The scene on the A10 at Hilgay, where Angel Fernandez died. Photo: Archant Library

Archant

Police have told motorcyclists to "ride defensively and expect the unexpected" in order to stay safe on the region's roads.

The advice - from Norfolk Constabulary’s Chief Inspector Kris Barnard - comes as Norfolk’s area coroner Yvonne Blake heard two cases yesterday in which motorcyclists had died on the county’s roads.

The first, an inquest opening, concerned 29-year-old hypnotherapist Ashley Rayner. He was riding his motorcycle on the A47 near Pentney, on November 10 when he was involved in a collision with a lorry.

Ms Blake said: “He sustained serious injuries,” and added that despite treatment by paramedics and doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Mr Rayner, of Harewood Drive, King’s Lynn died of his injuries. She gave the medical cause of death as brain injury and road traffic collision.

A pre-inquest review was also held into the death of 45-year-old Angel Fernandez, who died after a crash on the A10 at Hilgay on June 5. Mr Fernandez, of Soham, Cambridgeshire, was riding his Kawsaki when he collided with a BMW 4x4.

A second motorcycle, a Honda 599, avoided the crash but hit the kerb, causing the rider to come off. Mr Fernandez died at the scene.

In Norfolk so far this year, there have been 27 fatal crashes, five of which involved motorcycles. Suffolk Constabulary were not able to confirm how many fatal crashes there had been so far this year, but said six had involved motorcycles.

Nationally motorcyclists only comprise of 1pc of the overall road traffic, yet account for around 20pc of the fatalities and serious injuries on the road. In 2015, Department for Transport statistics found 365 motorcyclists were killed, a 7.7pc rise on the year before.

Chief Inspector Barnard, head of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit, said: “When approaching hazards, such as junctions or crossings, motorists should adjust their speed, allowing them time to react to any unforeseen situations.

“There are always other factors to consider including other road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, levels of traffic and weather conditions. Riders and drivers can improve their skills by taking additional training, with courses offered locally through the Think! Road Safety Partnership and Suffolk Roadsafe.”

Tributes paid to Ashley Rayner

Since his death, Mr Rayner’s family and friends have shared their memories and photos on a public Facebook page ‘Ashley Rayner - Memorial Group’, with more than 300 people already paying their respects.

A JustGiving page was also set up to support his family, and smashed the fundraising target of £2,000.

Yesterday the total reached £2,765.

Some 22 of those who knew him had the words “And sleep...” accompanied by Mr Rayner’s signature tattooed on them in his memory, and £400 was raised.

Others have held raffles and various fundraising events to help toward funeral costs.

Posting on the Facebook page, Mr Rayner’s father, Gary, said: “The support we have had on JustGiving is unreal and we can not thank you enough.

“Also a big thank you to the guys over at RAF Marham, Who have raised another £1000 towards Ashley’s big send off.”

Mr Rayner’s brother, Arron, added: “Thank you all for your support, love to you all.”

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