A MOTORCYCLIST died from multiple injuries when he collided with a car near Hellifield last July.

An inquest at Skipton Magistrates’ Court on Monday heard 27-year-old Ben Flitcroft, from Farnworth, Bolton, 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.

The fourth motorcyclist was Brian Wildman who had been overtaken by the group and then ‘tagged along’.

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

The inquest was told by witnesses that the motorcycles appeared to be going fast and had overtaken a number of vehicles.

Witness Fiona Lambert, who was driving a Honda CRV and following two pedal cyclists towards Hellifield from the Halton West turning, said 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.

In his statement, Brian Flitcroft, 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).

Mr Wildman 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.

Mr Bell told the inquest he was returning home from strawberry picking with his family at Gledstone Gardens, at West Marton.

“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.”

Coroner Rob Turnbull said a port-mortem examination revealed Mr Flitcroft had died from multiple injuries. Toxicology reports indicated there was a slight presence of alcohol which was under the drink-drive limit.

He recorded a verdict that Mr Flitcroft had died as a result of a road traffic collision.