Inquest begins at Bolton into Lowton and Golborne motorcyclists' deaths after Wigan meet
5:44pm Monday 18th March 2013 in North West
A MOTORBIKE involved in a crash which killed two teenagers was travelling at 80 to 100mph according to witnesses, an inquest has heard.
Welder Ryan John Smith, aged 18, of Derby Road, Golborne, and hairdresser Leah Rebekkah Davies, aged 19, of Thornbush Close, Lowton, died following the collision on Fourmarts Road, Wigan, at 11.25pm on July 29 last year.
The motorcycle enthusiasts had been among others who had gathered at a 'cruise' meet on the estate and were heading for home when the accident happened at the junction with Hillridge Road.
At the inquest in Bolton Town Hall on Monday, Deputy Coroner Alan Walsh heard that Leah died on August 5 last year as a result of traumatic brain injuries.
Ryan died in Wigan Infirmary the day after the collision.
Giving evidence Oliver Cleary said he was with a group of friends who shared an interest in motorcycles and cars and he was on his 50cc machine when they met at Pennington Park, Leigh and left in the early evening, visiting McDonald's in Leigh and also Wigan before Ryan led the way to the cruise venue on the industrial estate.
After looking at the motorcycles there they decided to leave.
Oliver said: "Ryan passed me at 80mph, the front wheel was up doing a wheelie. He passed me on my offside with his front wheel tilted to the left. The wheel was off the road for a long period of time. He put the wheel down at the last second before the collision. I could see his brake lights."
Oliver said he thought Ryan's vision could have been impaired by his raised front wheel which he estimated was 3ft off the ground when he passed him.
Oliver, who has since given up motorcycling, said he saw Leah emerging slowly on her Yamaha from Hillridge Road at an estimated speed of 4mph just seconds before the collision.
Ryan Yates, another member of the group who had earlier met at Pennington Flash and who was a 16-year-old riding a 50cc scooter at the time of the crash, told the inquest: "Ryan overtook me very close, he cut me up and pulled in front coming close to the front of my bike. He was doing at least 100mph.
"It was a 600cc bike in third or fourth gear. It was screaming. The collision was 25 metres in front of me. She stopped and Ryan overtook me. She would have been able to see him him at the last second."
Leah's mum Mandy Lawrenson said Leah had a twin sister, Sarah, and they were very close.
She said on January 26 last year Leah purchased a bike and protective clothing and kept the bike at her grandfather's home.
"She took a second job to pay for her bike, its maintenance and riding lessons," said Mrs Lawrenson, who said she had tried to persuade Leah to drive a car, but said she enjoyed going out on her bike on Sundays.
The inquest heard that Leah had a large number of friends and as a memory to Leah family and friends had organised several charity events which had raised more than £30,000 for the neurological unit at Salford Royal.
"We as a family offer our condolences to Ryan's family," said Mrs Lawrenson.
Ryan Smith's mother Rosemary said her son was a hard worker who enjoyed life and had lots of friends.
"From the age of four he had a fascination with anything on two wheels," she said.
"He was hard-working, committed and gave everything to his hobbies and friends. He did charity work and brightened the life when he went into a room."
The family had supervised him as a primary schoolboy who loved to ride off road and his father, Neville, had shown him the right way to ride. At 16 he got his provisonal licence and passed his CBT on his 50cc scooter with the School of Motorcycling at Astley.
In October 2011 he got a four cylinder 600cc Honda Hornet which was fitted with a power restricting device. The inquest heard after it developed an engine problem another engine was fitted to the machine.
The inquest continues.
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