Wakefield Army sergeant died after head-on bike crash with car driven by American serviceman, inquest told

Anthony Oxley
Anthony Oxley
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A HIGHLY respected  Army sergeant who served  in conflict zones across the world including  Afghanistan and Iraq died after the motorbike he was riding collided with a car being driven by an American serviceman  on a British RAF base in Cyprus, an inquest heard.

Colour Sergeant Anthony Oxley, 40, of Ryhill near Wakefield, was riding a motorbike above the speed limit when he was involved in a head-on-crash after the car driver failed to see him while turning across the bike's path, Wakefield Coroner's Court was told.

The inquest heard Sgt Oxley, who was married with a three-year-old daughter and step-children, was riding a Suzuki Intruder motorbike along Canberra Drive on the RAF Akrotiri base just after 8am on June 14 2016 when he was involved in collision with the Toyota Corolla.

The inquest was told UK police at the base carried out investigations and passed information to American authorities, who had jurisdiction.

Assistant Coroner John Hobson read a statement from Neil Whelden, a commander with the US Air Force office of special investigations.

The inquest was told the investigation found the American serviceman and a passenger were travelling in the Toyota along Canberra Drive in the opposite direction to Sgt Oxley when he (the car driver) attempted to make a right turn.

The motorcycle and car collided and Sgt Oxley was taken to hospital in Nicosia where he was pronounced dead later that day after suffering multiple fatal injuries.

Mr Hobson said it was estimated that the car was travelling at 31 kilometres an hour on the road, which has a speed limit of 50kmh.

Mr Hobson said Sgt Oxley was travelling at an estimated speed of 71 kmh.

Reading from commander Whelden's statement, Mr Hobson said: "The witness stated the subject (the car driver) had not slowed down or indicated prior to the right turn, disallowing the deceased the opportunity to avoid collision."

Commander Whelden added in the statement: "The deceased's motorcycle's speed of approximately 43 mph was too fast for the area where the collision occurred."

The inquest was told Sgt Oxley was wearing a helmet that was not suitable for use while riding motorcycles.

Mr Hobson recorded a verdict that Sgt Oxley died as a result of a road traffic collision.

The inquest was told Sgt Oxley, a Drum Major, had served in the army for 15 years with the Yorkshire Regiment as well as 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

He served in operations across the world including in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

More than 500 armed forces servicemen and servicewomen joined his family and friends for a service at St Michael and Our Lady’s Church in Nostell Priory in July 2016

He was laid to rest alongside his parents, with military honours, a gun salute and the sound of the Last Post during a second ceremony at St Peter’s Felkirk Church in South Hiendley.

Sgt Oxley joined the army aged 19 and became fully qualified for service in 1995.

Sgt Oxley had been stationed on the Mediterranean island for six years before he was involved in the fatal collision.

Mourners were told that Sgt Oxley served as a Drummer, Bugler, Sniper and a Warrior Vehicle Commander before being promoted to the rank of Corporal in 2004.

He later held roles as Drum Major and Sniper Section Commander serving in operations across the world including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sgt Oxley was described by his superiors as “the very finest of soldiers, the very best Drum Major, mentor, friend, dad and loving husband” and as being “proud for all that he stood for, believed in and valued."