A MAN who died in a Bostock crash earlier this year had been a motorbike enthusiast for almost half a century, an inquest has heard.

Stephen Thomas, of Ann Street, died after his bike and sidecar overturned around noon on Sunday, April 8, colliding with an oncoming Audi.

Having started working with bikes aged 15 and riding the following year, Mr Thomas, 63, was well-known in the area and was saluted by a cortege of bikers at his funeral.

His son, Richard, told the inquest at Crewe: “From the 1980s onwards, he was working as a mechanic, and was very fond of riding and maintaining bikes.

“In 2015 he bought a motorbike with a sidecar, fitted by a friend. He weighed the sidecar down with a ballast.

“He was in high spirits in April. He had spent the day before [the crash] with me and my children, spoiling them as usual. He was jovial.”

The freak accident occurred as Mr Thomas took a left hand bend in Bostock. Despite travelling at 37mph – well below the 60mph speed limit – his sidecar wheels lifted off the ground and momentum forced the bike to veer into the opposite carriageway and overturn.

Coroner Peter Sigee expressed concern at hearing of damaged road warning signs, but could not be sure this had contributed to the accident.

Amy O’Shaughnessy, who was driving behind Mr Thomas for around 10 minutes prior to the accident, said: “I was very conscious that he was driving very responsibly.

“He just seemed to be enjoying a Sunday afternoon drive – even when he overtook some cyclists, he gave them a wide berth before returning to his side of the road.

“He slowed down approaching the bend, but as he hit it the wheels of his sidecar raised up in the air. I was just hoping they would come down again, but as they raised he veered more into the centre of the road, hit the front right wing of the Audi and flew through the air.

“I got out and tried to speak to him but unfortunately there was no response. It all happened very fast.”

A pathologist and toxicologist agreed that there was no trace of alcohol or any substances in Mr Thomas’ system. A crash specialist at Cheshire Police calculated the Audi had been travelling at between 30mph and 40mph.

Mr Sigee concluded that Mr Thomas had died as a result of multiple injuries sustained in a road traffic collision. He also thanked members of the public and emergency services for their rapid response to the crash.