A popular doctor died after losing control of his motorcycle and slid into the path of an oncoming car, an inquest heard last week.
The inquest in Spilsby heard that Dr Geoff Wood, 56, who lived in North Kelsey and retired as a GP in Caistor five years ago, was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering multiple injuries following the collision around midday on March 10.
The tragic incident took place on the A631 near the Kelstern crossroads, as Dr Wood headed westbound on his Triumph Daytona motorcycle “at some speed”, with eyewitnesses suggesting he could have been travelling at 80 or 90mph.
Having overtaken a fellow motorcyclist and a Renault Clio at high speed, Dr Wood edged “two or three feet” into the oncoming lane before losing control of the motorcycle and slamming on his brakes, although it remains unclear why he did so.
Dr Wood’s front wheel locked and he fell to the left, skidding down the road and into the path of an oncoming Volkswagen Caravelle, which had performed an emergency stop and almost come to a standstill after driver Philip Beevers witnessed the fall ahead of him. All witness statements agreed that there was nothing that Mr Beevers could have done to avert the impact.
Fellow motorists who witnessed the incident rushed to his aid, but he was unresponsive and they were unable to detect a pulse.
Mr Beevers’ statement, which was read out at the inquest, said: “All of a sudden we heard and saw a motorbike on the opposite side of the road, which come out from behind a car to overtake. The rear wheel came out and he was wobbling from side to side. We braked but it was too late, and he collided with us.”
A post-mortem toxicology report showed that there were traces of anti-depressant drug Mirtazapine in Dr Wood’s body, as he had been taking medication to treat depression and anxiety, and it was suggested that this may have had a small effect on his ability to drive.
Recording a verdict that Dr Wood died as a result of a road traffic collision, Assistant Coroner Richard Marshall concluded: “Quite how and why Dr Wood took the action he did will have to remain unknown.
“One suggestion is that he was attempting to overtake a vehicle and then saw the oncoming Volkswagen and changed his mind, and braked sharply.
“Another possibility - although there is no evidence to suggest this happened - is that he swerved and braked to avoid hitting an animal.
“Whatever the reason, it caused his front wheel to lock and he fell to the left, skidding down the road before colliding with the Volkswagen, which tragically led to Dr Wood’s premature death.”