Biker Stephen Pengilly run over and killed after lorry debris knocks him onto motorway

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motorbike stephen pengilly m4 ambulanceman thatcham berkshire

TRAGIC: Mr Pengilly was killed after hitting part of a tyre (Pic: INS/TWITTER)

Ambulanceman Stephen Pengilly (took out comma) was thrown from his BMW motorcycle by the debris from a lorry that had suffered a burst tyre moments earlier.

He was on his way to start an early shift with the ambulance service in Berkshire.

A large section of the tyre, big enough to cover half of the second lane of the motorway, was struck by Mr Pengilly with it still dark, the inquiry was told.

The 53-year-old, an ambulance care assistant with South Central Ambulance Service, wouldn’t have had time to react when his motorbike’s lights did pick up the debris on an unlit part of the motorway.

He was on the ground only momentarily before he was hit by a Mercedes taxi.

Alison McCormick, assistant coroner for Berkshire, was told that a first car, a Mini Countryman, swerved to avoid the burst tyre, but several vehicles hit the debris and the wreckage of Mr Pengilly’s motorcycle which had skidded onto the hard shoulder.

Mr Pengilly’s widow Anita, from Thatcham, Berkshire, where the couple lived told the inquiry that he had chosen the motorway as it seemed safer.

She said: “We had previously discussed him taking the back route through to Yattingdon. I said don’t go the back way, there’s been a lot of tractors and it will be muddy and slippery and if anything happens nobody’s going to know you’re there.

motorbike stephen pengilly m4 ambulanceman thatcham berkshire

TYRE: The accident was caused after a lorry had a puncture (Pic: INS)

“The irony was that due to a change of shifts he was supposed to be changing to his car the next day.”

Mrs Pengilly questioned why the lorry driver had not told the police when he realised that his tyre had burst. Instead he told his controller on his mobile and neither had further reported the incident to highway authorities.

Kevin Spiller, a forensic collision investigator employed by Thames Valley Police, said: “The principle cause of this was the unreported tyre and consequently little opportunity for the vehicles to avoid this collision.

“If a report had been made assuming it was accurate and assuming overhead traffic signs were functional, there is a possibility, I can’t say any greater than that, that a signal could have been activated.”

Mr Spiller added: “People overestimate the distance they can see ahead. That is not a criticism it is a fact because they can see the lights of the vehicle ahead, they think they can see everything in between.”

A post mortem examination showed that Mr Pengilly had died from multiple injuries.



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