A 27-YEAR-OLD motorcyclist died from multiple injuries when he was in a crash with a car while out riding with his father.

An inquest at Skipton Magistrates’ Court on Monday heard how Ben Flitcroft, from Colchester Drive, Farnworth, was riding his 1000 cc Suzuki GSXS bike along the A682 towards Settle, from Gisburn with three other motorcyclists, one of whom was his father, Brian Flitcroft, and the other, his friend Dave Taylor.

A fourth motorcyclist, Brian Wildman, had been overtaken by the group and then ‘tagged along’ and saw much of the incident.

The collision occurred at the Hellifield junction of the B6253 on Sunday, July 1 at around 11.25am involving a Citroen Berlingo car driven by John Bell, of Hellifield, which was travelling in the same direction and turning right towards Hellifield

Following his death, Mr Flitcroft’s family launched the Ben Foundation to raise money for defibrillators in rural areas and was able to fundraise more than £10,000 for the cause.

In his statement at the inquest, Mr Flitcroft’s father maintained the group was travelling safely and his son, Ben, had been riding ‘safely and sensibly’. Mr Taylor said he estimated they had been travelling around 55 mph.

Mr Wildman, said he was third in the convoy of bikers with Brian Flitcroft in the lead.

He said the deceased motorcyclist could not react in time as he approached the junction.

“I heard Ben start to accelerate and the car just turned into the lad. The lad didn’t have any chance. At the time I didn’t see the car using its (indicators).”

He said as soon as the accident occurred he carried on to catch up with the leader to tell him there had been a crash.

Mr Flitcroft senior then turned round and made his way back to the scene where paramedics pronounced the motorcyclist dead at 12.10pm.

Witness Fiona Lambert, who was driving a Honda CRV in the area around the time of the crash claimed the motorcyclists had passed her ‘going very quickly’ and all had crossed double white lines.

This was agreed by cyclist Robert Entwistle who said he had seen the Berlingo indicating to turn.

The vehicle’s driver, Mr Bell, told the inquest he was returning home from strawberry picking with his family at Gledstone Gardens, in West Marton.

He said: “I was indicating to turn right and had slowed right down because one motorcyclist had already overtaken me at speed.

“It made me very nervous and I put the car into first gear. I heard a loud bang and had been hit at the right hand side at the back.”

Following the results of a post-mortem examination, Coroner Rob Turnbull recorded a verdict that Mr Flitcroft had died of multiple injuries as a result of a road traffic collision.