A sneeze may have killed Doncaster biker

Alex Page
Alex Page
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A hay fever sufferer who died after coming off his motorbike in South Yorkshire could have been killed by a sneeze.

Alex Leigh Page, 25, was on the way to complete the sale of the motorbike he was riding when he lost control and crashed to the ground.

The railway engineer was travelling behind his brother on June 27 last year and died from his injuries at the scene.

The investigating officer told an inquest that “he could have suffered from a bout of sneezing because of hayfever”, causing him to lose control of the bike.

Mr Page, who was due to get married, came off his green Kawasaki ZX6 on the A630 Sheffield Road in Conisbrough.

His elder brother, James Richard Page, was making the journey too in his red Peugeot, intending to drive Alex back to his home afterwards.

James had been driving in front of Alex at the time of the collision and a black Renault van had been driving behind both of them.

The accident happened at just after 5pm on the 60mph single carriageway.

In a statement read to Doncaster Coroner’s Court, James said Alex had been suffering from hay fever symptoms earlier that day, including sneezing and itchy eyes.

He said: “We’d just come through some temporary traffic lights when I looked in my mirrors and saw a motorbike fly up in the air. There was lots of dust. I knew it was Alex.

“I don’t know why he came off, he was always a careful rider.

“He’d had his licence for six months and went out on his bike at weekends. He’d never been in any kind of accident before.”

Investigating officer Neil Morrell, told the inquest: “There is no explanation as to why Alex lost control of the motorbike, he had been driving responsibly and at a reasonable speed. It is possible that he could have suffered from a bout of sneezing because of hayfever, and that caused a momentary lapse in concentration, but it is impossible to say for sure.”

The driver of the Renault van, Joel Williams, stopped and tried to help Mr Page.

His girlfriend Melissa Stevenson, who was also in the van with their six-month-old daughter, called an ambulance.

Mr Williams, who was visibly distressed, told the inquest: “The Peugeot was in front of me and then the motorbike came past me. He was close to the kerb, but he wasn’t driving inappropriately.

“I didn’t see it happen, I just saw a big cloud of dust. I stopped the van, but I couldn’t see anything because of the dust. I got out and shouted to the rider to see if he was okay. I got no response from him.”

The A630 has been the scene of many accidents over recent years, causing residents to call for traffic calming measures and a cut in the speed limit. Five youngsters died in a crash on the same stretch of road in November 2014.

The road was also the scene of a crash that led to the deaths of three teens in 2011.

PC Mark Smith, a collision investigator, confirmed that there had been no defects with the bike or the road which could have contributed to the crash. He added there was a bend in the road, which was gradual and could be manoeuvred safely even at 100mph, though there was no evidence that Alex had been exceeding the speed limit.