Man saw biker wife's fatal crash

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The Independent Online

A husband witnessed his novice biker wife lose control on a test run and slide under the wheels of a 4x4, an inquest heard today.

Mother-of-two Cheryl Cutter, 42, died within weeks of passing a motorcycling test on a new Honda 125cc.



Husband Ian Cutter, 41, was following his wife's progress with 12-year-old daughter Abigail when she lost control on a tight bend.



Both were unwilling witnesses as the motorcycle veered out of control, creating a 13-metre scar in the road before colliding with an on-coming car.



An emotional Mr Cutter told an inquest in Newport, South Wales, how he had met his wife when he was 17 and she was 18.



They had bought the motorbike together for his recent birthday but took turns getting on-road experience.



Despite wearing the latest protective gear she suffered multiple injuries in the collision which proved fatal.



"We had bought the most expensive that we could afford. She had protective shoulder, elbow and knee pads. She had a helmet and all the full paraphernalia," Mr Cutter said.



Gwent coroner David Bowen recorded a verdict of accidental death describing the tragic incident as a "pure accident" after hearing the details.



Mrs Cutter, of Magor, was driving along the B4245 near the Parkwall roundabout, Portskewett, Monmouthshire, on October 3.



She struggled to regain control after wobbling as she took a bend, veering across the road into the path of an on-coming Land Rover Freelander.



A cautious Mr Cutter had followed his wife in the family people carrier with his daughter to ensure other drivers did not come too close to her.



The Sunday afternoon drive had been put off from the morning to avoid wet conditions and traffic going to the nearby Ryder Cup event.



"On this particular day we changed our route because the Ryder Cup was on and we decided to go in the opposite direction," Mr Cutter said.



He said that she had been out riding the motorcycle about six times before.



"In fact, I would say that she was riding the best that she had done. I was about 20 to 30 yards behind her most of the time."



He said as she approached a left-hand bend in the road she began to wobble. She then drifted across the carriageway straight into the front of the Land Rover.



Rachael Snape witnessed the accident as she drove along behind the Cutters' people carrier on the B4245.



In a statement read out by the coroner she estimated the motorbike was travelling at around 40mph on the 60mph stretch of road.



"The motorcycle must have been 200 yards ahead. The way it was being ridden had all the indications of a novice driver," she said.



She said she saw the rider wobble and lose control of the bike and saw as she veered across the road that she would not regain control.



"It all happened so quickly. The next thing I saw was the motorcycle fall down. It slid along the road surface with the rider still held on to the handle bars.



"It then went under the jeep."



Pc Stewart Sterling told the inquest that Mrs Cutter had passed a basic road test but was inexperienced.



He said speed and mechanical defects in either vehicle had been ruled out as a cause of the accident.



"She simply lost control of the Honda. It is not uncommon for novice drivers to have difficulty with balance."



He added: "In the light of the evidence it would seem likely that that is what happened on this occasion."



Summing up, the coroner said: "It is perhaps ironic that the sole cause of the incident was her inexperience, the very thing that she was there to improve. It was a pure accident."

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