Biker's screams caught on camera after van knocks him flying through the air in North Wales crash


Staff reporter (NW Pioneer)

THIS is every motorcyclist’s worst nightmare, captured on a helmet cam.

It’s the moment an ordinary ride out in Wales comes to a sudden and abrupt halt when a white van man turns right in front of the rider.

The dramatic footage captures the rider’s terrified scream in the final seconds when he realises an impact is about to take place.

Dislodged from the helmet, the camera keeps on recording as it is tossed through the air.

When it comes to land on the road it shows the injured rider staggering to a nearby wall which he uses to lean on.

Flintshire Magistrates’ Court at Mold heard how the rider Kevin Thomas Quirk, 32, was lucky to escape with a fractured elbow following the crash near Betws-y-Coed, North Wales.

The van driver, Ian Paul Smith, 57, of Maesgwyn Road in Penrhyn Bay, Llandudno, admitted careless driving and said that he had simply not seen the approaching motorcyclist when he turned right across his path, leaving him with no chance of avoiding a collision.

The crash happened at the junction of the A5 and the A470 near The Ty Gwyn public house on August 26 last year.

Mr Quirk, of Pensby on The Wirral, was riding his white Triumph Tiger 800 at 44 mph on his correct side of the road from the Pentrefoelas area when the white van approached in the opposite direction.

But as the biker approached the junction the van simply turned across his path, explained Alan Williams, prosecuting.

“He was wearing a helmet cam which captures the collision,” he explained, and played the footage to the court.

The van driver approached the rider and said: “I’m really sorry. Are you ok?”
Mr Quirk was taken to Glan Clwyd Hospital at Bodelwyddan where he was found to have a fractured elbow.

Interviewed, Smith said he approached the junction, intended to turn right and he believed the road ahead was clear.

He turned right and after a few seconds there was a loud bang.

Smith initially said no comment , due to an insurance contract, when asked whose fault it was, but later confirmed he was responsible for the collision.

He had a clean driving licence.

In a letter of mitigation, he said that the sun was low behind the rider with long shadows.

He had slowed down to a crawl to take the junction and had not seen the motorcycle approach.

It was his first accident in many years of driving and he needed his licence to run his “man and a van” removals business.

Since the collision he had his eyes tested and they were fine.

He had disposed of his sun glasses in case they contributed in any way.

At a previous hearing the case was adjourned for the defendant to attend so that the court could consider the issue of disqualification.

But magistrates fined him £80 with £85 costs and a £30 surcharge and five penalty points - with no disqualification.

Smith told the court that nothing like that had ever happened to him before, he had been totally shocked, and said a driving ban would mean that he could no longer run the van business.

He also had family responsibilities, he explained.

Inspector Alun Davies of the North Wales Police Roads Policing Unit said after the case: “This was a shocking piece of driving.

“It was only by good fortune the motorcyclist wasn’t more seriously injured. 

“I’d like to remind the motoring community to remain fully focused whilst driving, even a split seconds lack of concentration can have tragic consequences.

“Stay alert, keep within the speed limit, remember to ‘THINK BIKE’ particularly at junctions and together let’s make our roads safer and demonstrate North Wales Police will relentlessly pursue those who breach the #fatalfive.” 

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on

Characters left: 1500

Most Read