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Downham teen's Mother's Day motorcycle death was 'accidental'
A CORONER has ruled that the death of a 17-year-old Downham motorcyclist who skidded off his bike while navigating a flooded drain was accidental.
Jack Bowker was picking up a takeaway for his mum on Mother’s Day when he came off his black Gilera on a wet road and slid under a parked car in Warren Avenue.
The helmet of the former Ravensbourne Secondary School Pupil, who lived in Ravensbourne Avenue, came off as he hit the car at around 2.50pm and he died from head injuries two days later.
An inquest at Croydon Coroners’ Court yesterday (October 31) heard how a water leak in the road was not correctly signposted but it was ultimately the teenager’s inexperience on a bike which meant he did not brake in time.
Witness Malcolm Hall, who was driving along Warren Avenue at the time, told the court: "He made a left turn manoeuvre, then a right turn manoeuvre due to the obstacle.
"As he did, his front wheel went away from him. I lost sight of him. There was a big bang and I saw him pop out into the road."
Motorcyclist Mr Hall added: "Looking at it, I believe the front wheel folded away because the road was wet."
Investigating collision officer PC Michael Andrews told the court the water leak, managed by Thames Water, did not have correct signage with one sign facing the wrong way, another blown over and no blue arrows to direct drivers.
But he went on to say the teenager only had a provisional licence which did not cover the power of the Gilera Runner 198 and the road conditions alone were not poor enough to have caused the accident.
PC Andrews said: "The signage was not correct. However, the opportunity was there to stop twice over beforehand."
Summing up, coroner Dr Roy Palmer said: "Clearly the road signing was not as it should have been, but you have also heard the officer say, even if it had been, it probably would not have made much difference.
"The opportunity was there to see what was in the road.
"It was partly due, probably, that he was riding a bike more potent than he was possibly aware.
"And partly due to youth and inexperience when on a provisional licence."
Tributes to the "lovely" "popular" schoolboy flooded News Shopper's website at the time of his death when he passed away surrounded by family in the early hours of March 12.
A tribute video in memory of Jack Bowker was posted on You Tube.
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