A BIKER who was undergoing medical tests after suffering seizure-type episodes died and his pillion passenger seriously injured after his 1200cc BMW machine crashed into an oncoming car in the Yorkshire Dales, an inquest heard.

The hearing at Skipton Magistrates' Court was told that Simon Blanchard, 57, a truck driver, had been told not to drive and to inform the DVLA of a number of 'vacant episodes' he had suffered earlier in 2018 and was currently undergoing tests for.

However, the inquest heard it was not likely to have been the suspected seizures which caused the crash.

Mr Blanchard, of March Cote Lane, Cottingley, died at the scene of the collision on the B6255 road between Hawes and Ingleton, near Ribblehead, on September 23 last year.

His death was recorded at 2.59pm.

His pillion passenger was thrown 48 metres following the impact with a Ford Focus car driven by Colin Ford.

A following motorbike subsequently collided with Mr Blanchard's machine and the rider was also seriously injured.

Mr Ford said he was travelling towards Hawes with his wife when he was hit by Mr Blanchard's bike which 'spun us round'.

He said it all occurred in a split second and remembered seeing the bike on his bonnet.

Peter Adams, following the Focus in a camper van, said he saw the two bikes approaching and saw the first bike, ridden by Mr Blanchard, 'drifting further and further out'.

"I could see an impact was about to happen and had already started to brake. The bike had crossed the white lines," he said.

He added it seemed to be a gradual drift and the biker didn't seem to be struggling.

Collision investigation officer PC Paddy Green said an inspection of the BMW bike showed it had been travelling at 59mph at the time of impact. The national speed limit on the road is 60mph.

The impact had broken the front part of the bike away.

He said the road conditions were good at the time and an inspection of all the vehicles involved showed no defects.

Paramedics attending the incident declared Mr Blanchard dead at the scene and the pillion passenger and second rider, both women, were airlifted to hospital by the Great North Air Ambulance service with serious injuries. Both survived the collision.

Consultant neurologist Alastair Lansbury said Mr Blanchard had attended a First Fit clinic in Bradford in March 2018 after complaining of 'vacant episodes' but no clear diagnosis was made. He had an MRI scan on September18 which suggested likely temporal lobe seizures with a clinical suspicion of epilepsy. An ECG showed no abnormalities.

In the meantime he had been advised not to drive and to inform the DVLA. The DVLA confirmed no notification had been received from Mr Blanchard.

A post mortem examination concluded the deceased had died from multiple injuries caused by the collision and that a further examination showed there were no epilepsy-associated features to the brain and it was not believed Mr Blanchard's previous 'vacant episodes' had played a part in the circumstances and were not linked to his death.

Assistant coroner for North Yorkshire Jonathan Heath said: "I am satisfied that the cause of death was as a result of a road traffic collision."