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Rider died testing out his friend's motorbike

A SPEEDING motorcylist took a cocktail of drugs before dying instantly when he hit a speed bump at 109kph, an inquest has been told.

Garreth Farrell (30) from Tallaght was taking his friend's bike, a Suzuki 750cc, for a test drive when it hit public railings on the side of a road in Westpark Estate, Tallaght, after he passed a ramp and swerved to overtake a car.

An inquest at Dublin County Coroner's Court heard that Mr Farrell had seven times the toxic level of a sleeping tablet in his system, as well as traces of methadone, free morphine and sedative drugs at the time of his death.



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Witnesses said they saw a bike "zoom" past a car and they heard a loud noise. Noel Eccles, who was a friend of Mr Farrell, had given his bike to him only minutes earlier. The driver had only gone a short distance down the road when the accident happened.

Mr Eccles told the inquest: "I saw the bike going into the air and I ran down."

He claimed that Mr Farrell was not driving at high speed, and he said Mr Farrell swerved around an Opel Corsa on the road before he was thrown from the bike. A garda expert, however, said he was travelling at up to 109kph.

Joseph Delves, a paramedic who lives close by in Westpark Estate saw that Mr Farrell had not been wearing a helmet when he was driving the motorbike. His statement read that Mr Mr Farrell's front cranium was smashed. "I knew he was dead," he said.

Witness Ellen Byrne, who was driving over the ramp when the motorcycle passed her, said she witnessed Mr Farrell being thrown against the railing and onto the ground.

"He was going at some speed," she said.

Garda Michael Tracey, a public service vehicle inspector, examined the bike after the accident and he found heavy impact damage to the front section of the bike but he added that the bike had been in good mechanical condition.

Garda John Reynolds, a collision investigator, calculated the motorbike was travelling at a speed of between 80kph to 109kph. A jury of four men and four women found that Mr Farrell died by misadventure.

hnews@herald.ie


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