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Mystery surrounds death of Bourne motorcyclist after crash on M62 in West Yorkshire

The reason why a motorcyclist died after a crash on the M62 in West Yorkshire may never be known, an inquest has heard.

Shay O'Connell, a 50-year-old, dad-of-two from Bourne, died instantly when he hit a stationary highways vehicle on the exit slip road of the M62 eastbound carriageway at junction 24 just after 1am on May 8, 2019.

In a report by the Yorkshire Examiner, the inquest heard that the vehicle was part of an operation to repair a barrier in the area and that appropriate alerts were in place on gantries some two junctions before the collision occurred.

M62 crash. Picture: Google Maps
M62 crash. Picture: Google Maps

Assistant coroner Peter Merchant heard evidence that Mr O'Connell was a very successful builder who had left school aged 13 and had a hand in building some of Chelsea's most expensive apartments.

But his real passion in life was motorbikes and he had travelled all over the world on them.

The hearing at Bradford Coroner's Court heard so great was his passion that he travelled to watch the TT races at the Isle of Man where he was at one time a marshal but more recently a spectator.

He was so enamoured that he moved to the island eight months before his death.

Mr Merchant said Shay was travelling on his red BMW motorbike along the M62 to Bourne, when he came across the roadworks which were coned off.

Despite a police investigation, Mr Merchant said the police could not explain why the collision had occurred.

He said the maintenance vehicle had Chevron markings and was illuminated so "would have been visible to other road-users of the motorway.

"Around 1am on May 8 Shay was driving his motorcycle along the M62 when for reasons that are not clear he had cause to collide with the rear of the Mercedes highways maintenance vehicle. It's not clear why that happened."

Despite the best efforts of several maintenance officers, police and paramedics, Mr O'Connell was pronounced dead at 1.36am.

Mr Merchant added: "The CCTV footage was regrettably limited but what it did show was that Shay was observed to be riding in the second lane of the M62 and there was nothing to indicate that he was riding it in any way than was to be expected."

Although Shay suffered from diabetes a post mortem report by Dr Karen Ramsden found that his blood/glucose levels were normal and so this would not have resulted in him losing control of his machine.

She also revealed that he suffered from pancreatitis, hypertension, [high blood pressure] and cardiovascular disease.

Mr Merchant said: "Her conclusions are that as a consequence of the collision, Shay suffered fractures to his sternum which in effect triggered a cardiac arrest and that proved to be fatal as Shay was concerned."

He concluded that Shay died as the result of a road traffic collision.

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