TT speed limit call after death of bike passenger

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THE sister of a pillion passenger killed on the Mountain Road during this year’s TT festival has called for the government to introduce more speed limits.

Dawn Wilkinson made the comments at the inquest of Amanda Heather McNicol who died when she was hit by another motorcycle after falling from the pillion seat of her husband’s Honda CBR900RR.

Coroner John Needham recorded an accidental death verdict on Mrs McNicol who was pronounced dead at the scene, near the 32nd Milestone after a 6am ride with her husband on May 30.

He added: ‘I will be making a report to the Department of Infrastructure on the issue of a speed restriction in respect of this portion of road at the time that it is one-way during the TT.

Mr Needham said Philip McNicol and his wife were visiting the island for the first time and had completed a number of laps of the TT Course. The previous day they had been unnerved by another bike which undertook them on the mountain and Mrs McNicol had reminded him to use his mirrors.

‘We know that Mr McNicol had seen two riders travelling up very quickly behind him as he approached Brandywell. After Brandywell he moved into the side of the road and was looking in his mirrors. He drifted into the ditch and the accident was bound to happen,’ he said.

The court heard Mr McNicol’s bike hit the banking at the side of the road and Mrs McNicol had been thrown into the road.

‘Then it is a matter of fate and it is unfortunate that Amanda took a different trajectory from Mr McNicol. She was catapulted into the path of [Giles] Day’s Yamaha,’ Mr Needham said, adding: ‘In my view the Yamaha which hit Amanda was probably travelling at 80mph.’

He said there was a combination of factors at work including a lack of speed restriction through the one-way mountain road, a high proportion of motorcycles which were statistically more likely to be involved in accidents and riders wanting to ride faster than they would do in other circumstances.

‘There is a risk people see the mountain as providing a track day experience,’ he said. ‘I can’t say that if restrictions were in place Amanda would be with us today but it is likely in my view that she would be.’

A statement from Giles Day, whose Yamaha R6 was behind Mr McNicol and hit Mrs McNicol, said he saw the other bike hit the bank and catapult across the road.

‘I had nowhere to go. I hit what I thought was the bike and went over the handlebars,’ he said.

A post-mortem report from Dr Christopher Clague said Mrs McNicol, a 49-year-old businesswoman from York, died principally from head and neck injuries.

Offering his condolences, Mr Needham said he thought death was probably instant.

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