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Swedish motorbiker died on the way to a family reunion after misjudging cross roads
A Swedish motorcyclist died after overshooting a junction in Saltaire seconds after he played with his baby grandson on the seat of his Triumph motorbike.
Karl Nilsson had arrived in the village on his motorbike for a big family reunion and was travelling up Victoria Road to the Tramshed for lunch when he failed to stop at the cross roads with Saltaire Road, an inquest in Bradford heard yesterday.
Mr Nilsson, 58, had just met up with his daughter Lina, her husband James Waite and other family members including his former wife, Eva, who had been staying at the nearby Bankfield Hotel.
Mr Waite, of Farsley, told the court what happened on October 14 last year after his father-in-law arrived outside the Rose And Brown vintage shop.
Mr Waite was waiting on the pavement with one-year-old Otis while the family group browsed around inside.
“He was an extremely experienced rider and had toured all over Europe and been to Britain a lot of times and had also been to Saltaire several times,” said Mr Waite, 28.
He added his father-in-law had turned into Victoria Road from Saltaire Road on his way to the get-together.
“Otis held his hands out and he took him and sat him on the bike,” Mr Waite said.
Mr Nilsson said he would ride his bike round to the Tramshed and asked Mr Waite for directions and was told to turn left on to Saltaire Road. Mr Waite watched him go and saw the crash.
Witnesses said Mr Nilsson rode off at a moderate speed, up Victoria Road and straight into traffic on Saltaire Road, hitting the rear of a black Suzuki Alto.
Dental nurse Janet Pitts, from Harden, was driving her daughters Isobel, 17 and Beth, 21 and had just set off after pausing for pedestrians on a crossing when her car was struck on its nearside back quarter.
Front seat passenger Isobel told the court what happened: “I looked up and saw a motorbike coming up towards us. I saw his face because he didn’t have a visor. He was wide-eyed and looked stunned,” said student Miss Pitts.
Other witnesses gave similar versions of the crash, telling how Mr Nilsson had not slowed and had been thrown into the air then fell to the ground on his back while the heavy bike skidded on across the road.
Firemen from Shipley Station across the road arrived almost immediately to help a passing doctor try and save Mr Nilsson’s life.
But he had stopped breathing almost immediately and his pulse had stopped.
Pathologist Dr Alan Padwell told the court he had died from internal injuries, primarily a ruptured aorta and severely broken ribs, which prevented his heart from beating and his lungs from working.
Son-in-law Mr Waite told the court he considered the avenue of trees along Victoria Road may have obscured Mr Nilsson’s view and created the illusion it was an unbroken road.
Bradford Council have now removed some trees approaching the junction.
Assistant Coroner Caroline Sumeray recorded a verdict of accidental death.