Wednesday 22 November 2017

Man died in crash after bike and sports car were 'racing at up to 210kmh'

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Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A young motorcyclist was killed after he was in a collision with the rear of a car on a busy city dual carriageway.

Witnesses have suggested the motorcyclist may have been racing with a black sports car at speeds of up to 210kmh.

A Cork coroner's inquest heard Joseph Holten (27) died after his motorcycle was in collision with the rear of a car driven by a schoolteacher.

Three witnesses told Coroner Philip Comyn that they believed the bike was earlier engaged in a race with a sports car on the N40 South Ring Road in Cork at 11am on March 11, 2014.

The sports car, which was not involved in the fatal collision, did not stop at the scene.

All witnesses said the driving of school teacher Catherine Foley, whose vehicle Mr Holten was in collision with, was both safe and careful.

The Holten family, from Brooklodge, Glanmire, in Cork, asked for the inquest to be adjourned over what they alleged was "a flawed" Garda investigation.

Sergeant Fergus Twomey said the Garda investigation was carefully reviewed and the Director of Public Prosecutions ruled on two occasions against a prosecution.

Mr Comyn was told by a number of witnesses that the motorcycle had passed them at speed on the N40.

The witnesses also said they were passed by a sports car which was driving very erratically.

One witness said his "guestimate" was the speeds involved were up to 210kmh.

Businessman Eamon Lynch said the speeds of both the motorcycle and the black sports car were "ferocious".

Collision

"I formed the opinion straight away that they were racing," he said.

"I am driving since 1992 and I drive 30,000 miles a year. This was the worst example of driving by both these parties that I have ever seen."

The motorcycle was in collision with the rear of a car which had come onto the dual carriageway from a side road.

"It looked as if the (sports car) and the bike were racing each other," said motorist James Steel.

"I could tell there was a puff of smoke from the (bike) exhaust and there was a huge increase in speed."

Motorist Frank Davis said: "I remember thinking to myself: 'wow, what speed were they doing?'"

The force of the collision between Mr Holten's motorcycle and Mrs Foley's car catapulted him high into the air and onto the opposite side of the dual carriageway.

Mrs Foley said there was "nothing at all I could do to avoid this collision".

The inquest continues today.

Irish Independent

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