Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Tragic biker due to speak at crash inquest

Sympathies were extended to the family of a biker who was killed on Sunday at the inquest into another motorcycling-related death he was to give evidence in yesterday.

Victor Gilmore crashed at the Kilalane Road Races near Dublin at the weekend. The Ballymoney racer was set to appear at the inquest into the death of a spectator at the Armoy Road Races last year, when Gilmore’s bike skidded off track, killing 75-year-old Hill Smyth McCook.

Instead his statement was read out to the court. Senior coroner John Leckey said he was “saddened” to learn of his death, and extended his “deep sympathies” to his family.

The inquest heard retired steel erector Mr McCook was a keen motorcycle fan who had been looking forward to watching the race with his nephew Raymond McMullan, choosing his vantage point a week before.

The pair were standing on a grass embankment near the section of the course known as Dean’s Rise when the accident happened during the second lap of the Grand Final race.

As Mr Gilmore came around the corner at 150mph the front wheel slipped and he lost control of the bike. He was thrown off as the blue Yamaha R6 slid on its side towards the verge. Spectators told the coroner how the bike “catapulted” and “somersaulted” after it collided with the verge.

It hit the embankment and spun into the air again, this time landing beside the tree under which Mr McCook was standing. Both Mr Gilmore and Mr McMullan sustained injuries from the accident, but despite receiving medical treatment within minutes, Mr McCook died at the scene.

The pathologists report stated Mr McCook died a “very rapid death” from multiple internal injuries, including damage to his heart and kidneys, as well as breaks to his legs and ribs.

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