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Falklands War veteran was travelling at over 100mph on M6 before fatal crash near Stone inquest told

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: April 23, 2014

Tony Arrandale

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A FALKLANDS War veteran was travelling at over 100mph on his motorbike shortly before it collided with two others on the M6 near Stone, an inquest heard.

Tony Arrandale, 62, suffered multiple injuries in the crash, which happened on the morning of July 2013, Cannock Coroner’s Court heard on Thursday.

But medics were unable to save him and he was pronounced dead later that day at University Hospital of North Staffordshire.

His wife Wendy, who was riding pillion on the orange Kawasaki, suffered serious injuries in the crash, the inquest heard.

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Mr Arrandale was an experienced biker, who had been both a military and civilian instructor.

The couple, from the Blackpool area, were travelling along the M6 southbound towards Plymouth, to catch a ferry to Portugal.

A lorry, being driven in the inside lane ahead of them, suffered a tyre blow-out, which scattered debris across all three southbound lanes.

David Rutter, who was riding a blue Kawasaki bike in the middle lane at the time, told the inquest he saw the debris and moved into the outside lane. Just seconds later his bike was shunted from behind and he was knocked off, suffering back injuries.

The inquest was told Mr Arrandale’s bike had collided with Mr Rutter’s bike. Another motorcycle, a red Aprilia, and a VW Polo car were also involved in the collision, between Junction 15 and Stafford Services.

PC Carl Kelsall, a collision investigation officer for Staffordshire Police, said Mr Arrandale had been calculated to be travelling at 105mph, reducing to 96mph prior to the collision.

He said: “As an experienced motorcyclist you can ride at speed but still maintain a degree of observation.

“Unfortunately it appears this momentary event which was going on ahead hasn’t been perceived.”

South Staffordshire Coroner Andrew Haigh recorded a verdict of death from road traffic collision. He said a suggestion that debris had struck Mr Arrandale “is possible but unlikely.”

“He was travelling at considerable speed, travelling over 50 metres per second. There has been a slight delay in reaction to travelling circumstances,” he said.

“When you are travelling at that speed a slight delay can be fatal. That is what tragically happened here.”

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