Wed, 04 Mar 2020
A SCHOOLTEACHER has told how she comforted a dying man following a traffic collision near Hungerford.
The tragedy happened on the A338, an inquest heard.
The hearing at Reading Town Hall on Monday was told that 44-year-old Darren Sammons was riding a powerful Suzuki GSF 1200 motorcycle when he crashed into the back of a Mercedes van, which had braked at a junction.
A witness – Great Bedwyn Primary School teacher Kathryn Bengtsson – said in a statement that she had been travelling home on the A338 towards Hungerford with her two sons at around 4.15pm on Friday, August 2 last year, when she witnessed the incident.
She told the inquest: “It’s a fast, winding country road; it can be busy and people often drive quite fast along there towards the M4.”
Ms Bengtsson said the accident happened near the junction with a minor road signposted Sanham Green and Inkpen and added: “A sudden movement in front of me caught my eye – it was out of place and shouldn’t be happening.
“Something came flying through the air and I could see debris flying about.
“I didn’t know what was happening, but I knew it was something bad.
“There was a motorcycle coming straight towards me on my side of the road.”
She described seeing Mr Sammons lying in the road near a Mercedes van and went on: “I had to brake heavily.
“I was hit by the motorcycle as it sailed along the road. I heard it scrape along the side of my car.”
The stricken man was lying face down and Ms Bengtsson said: “I knelt down by him and talked to him.
“I held his hand and stayed with him until the ambulance arrived.
“There was no response, but I felt he was aware of my being there.
“I told him not to move and encouraged him to keep breathing.”
Ms Sammons was airlifted to hospital but succumbed to devastating internal injuries, the inquest heard.
The Mercedes Sprinter van driver, Jonathan Carr, said a car in front “suddenly indicated right and braked heavily”, forcing him to brake hard, in turn.
Mr Sammons, who lived in Reading Road, Wantage, then struck his vehicle from behind, the inquest was told.
Toxicology tests showed no drugs or alcohol in his system and he had been travelling within the 60mph speed limit, said assistant Berkshire coroner Ian Wade QC.
Mr Wade recorded that Ms Sammons died as the result of a road traffic collision.