Motorcyclists died after speeding away from police

File photo / Sarah Ivey
File photo / Sarah Ivey

A split-second decision to accelerate away from a parked police car caused the motorcycle deaths of two men south of Wellsford, a coroner has found.

Steven Gorrie, 39, and passenger Makoto Izumi, 38, were both killed instantly when the motorcycle they were riding collided head-on with a car on State Highway One, between Warkworth and Wellsford, on April 4 2010.

A coroner's report released today found that Gorrie and Izumi were heading north when they passed a stationary police car at about 6.45pm when they were recorded travelling at a speed of 97km per hour in an 80km per hour zone.

As Gorrie passed the police car, it began to turn around with the intention of stopping the motorcycle.

Noticing this, Gorrie began to accelerate deliberately to avoid being stopped, Coroner Brandt Shortland said.

The motorcycle had then accelerated between 108 and 162km per hour, distance studies showed.

Gorrie lost control along a gravel shoulder shortly after, heading back onto the road after about 100m when he crossed the centreline into the direct path of a Toyota Corolla being driven by Amysh Goyal.

Gorrie and Izumi suffered fatal injuries to the neck and chest and both Goyal and his wife were taken to hospital for their injuries.

Coroner Shortland described the scene as "absolute carnage all over the road".

A post-mortem revealed traces of diazepam and methamphetamine in Gorrie's system but there was no evidence to suggest that the levels were high enough to affect his driving.

Speed, and Gorrie's inexperience as a rider were found to be the main contributing factors in the crash.

"If it were not for the decision to accelerate away from the police detection both Mr Gorrie and Mr Izumi may well be alive today," Coroner Shortland said.

- nzherald.co.nz

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