Experienced biker died in crash on way home from motorcycling event

Ray Robley, 59, has been described as an 'experienced' and 'competent' rider
Ray Robley, 59, has been described as an 'experienced' and 'competent' rider Credit: BPM Media

A biker from Devon died after crashing into a kerb on his way home from a motorcycling event in Dorset, an inquest has heard.

Ray Robley, from Seaton, was travelling home on his blue Yamaha after an event in Weymouth on September 4 last year.

The 59-year-old left the event at 4pm with the Axminster Motorcycle Club and stayed at the back of the group with his friend, Neil Clark.

Bournemouth Coroner’s Court heard how both men hit the kerb of a traffic island at the Vesta roundabout on the A354 at roughly 4.20pm – causing Robley to slide into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

He was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital, but died three days later.

A Dorset Police officer’s collision report said: "At 4pm, the group left the event to begin their journey back to Axminster.

"As they travelled away from the event, Mr Robley and Neil Clark remained at the back of the group and the others went ahead.

"Neither Mr Robley and Mr Clark knew the area and followed signs to Dorchester. As Mr Robley approached the Veasta roundabout, Mr Clark was slightly ahead of him.

"Mr Clark struck the kerb of the traffic island on the approach to the roundabout and caused him to come off his motorcycle and come to rest on the traffic island.

"Mr Robley had also struck the kerb and come off his motorcycle.

"Mr Robley slid across the island towards the right and into the path of a Toyota Hilux which was approaching from the opposite direction. Mr Robley has come to rest partly under the offside of the Toyota Hilux.

"Police officers arrived at the scene very quickly and along with members of the public, CPR was commenced.

"The ambulance crew arrived along with the air ambulance and Mr Robley was conveyed to hospital."

Coroner Brendan Allen read a number of statements at court to further understand the circumstances of the collision and also determine the cause of death.

A vehicle examination by Dorset Police showed that Robley and Clark's motorcycles were damaged by the collision but found no defects that could have caused or contributed to the crash.

Police officers tried to find footage of the crash and its build-up but none was found. The driver of the Toyota was cleared of any blame.

Robley's son, Tom, described his father as a “lovely Northerner” and spoke of his passion for riding motorcycles since he was a teenager.

He said: "He was an extremely competent and experienced rider, which is what makes this loss so hard.

"Family always came first for Ray and he was a happy, caring and funny individual with an interesting sense of style.

“Nothing was ever too much for Ray - he would be at your side in no time if you needed a hand.

"He was adored by so many of his friends and is dearly missed. His Northern accent and wacky sense of humour will never be forgotten."

A further family tribute described Ray as "a fun, caring, selfless man who lived life to the fullest".

A further police collision investigation concluded that Robley and his friend were speeding in excess of the 30mph limit on the approach to the slip road to continue on to the Weymouth Relief Road.

A report concluded that Robley braked sharply to avoid a collision with Clark.

It stated: “It is likely that Mr Robley was approaching the roundabout in excess of the 30mph speed restriction and it might also be possible he was reacting to Mr Clark crashing ahead of him."