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Devoted Chester father died after his motorbike collided with a combine harvester

A DEVOTED father and husband died when his motorbike collided with a combine harvester on the A56, an inquest heard.

A DEVOTED father and husband died when his motorbike collided with a combine harvester on the A56, an inquest heard.

At around 10.15am on August 2 last year John Pollitt, of Parkland Drive, Elton, was driving from Chester towards Helsby on his Suzuki bike after buying a birthday present for his wife.

Witnesses described the moment when the father-of-three braked to avoid an oncoming combine harvester, near the junction with the M53 roundabout, but struck the front tyre and skidded across the road.

The combine harvester, travelling from Dunham Hall Farm, in Dunham Hill, had strayed into the opposite lane because it was too wide for the road.

Passing motorists tried to save the 45-year-old – described by family as a loving husband to Helen and a devoted father to Ben, Grace and Alexandra – but he died later at the Countess of Chester Hospital from severe head and spine injuries.

Christine Deegan, of Elton, who was behind the combine harvester when the incident occurred, said that the crash was ‘an accident waiting to happen’. She described how moments before the crash a van had swerved on to the kerb.

“I saw a van come out and he braked and went on to the kerb, then the motorcyclist just didn’t have anywhere to go.

“He was down and then sat up and suddenly he just hit the combine harvester. Then the motorcycle spun like a penny, he slid off and then it fell on him and he slid behind the vehicle.

She said after the collision: “I saw the driver of the combine harvester climb down and he went to look, then he put his head in his hands and fell to the ground.”

Other motorists, who were stuck in the long queue behind the farm vehicle, which had spread straw across the junction, said as it hit the wheel the bike ‘shattered into a spray of blue plastic’.

Mr Pollitt’s wife, Helen, sobbed as PC Guy Hopley described the destroyed motorbike torn apart in the collision.

Mr Pollitt, an instrument electrical technician for Growhow, Ince, was an experienced biker who working part-time as a marshal at Oulton Park.

Speaking at the inquest Mr Pollitt’s father-in-law Alan Cliffe paid tribute to a family man who ‘lived life to the full’.

More than 400 people attended the funeral for Mr Pollitt, who worked part-time for Elton-based Village taxis.

The driver of the combine harvester, farm worker Jonathan Bradbury, of Blackmore Grove, Whitchurch described how he had braked when he saw the bike, which ‘just appeared around the corner’.

Police confirmed that both drivers had not been speeding.

In May Jonathan Bradbury was fined £100 by Chester magistrates for driving a vehicle that exceeded the maximum width.

His employers Fieldfare Farmers Ltd, of Lee Hall Farm, Whitchurch were fined £600 for the offence.

On Tuesday Cheshire coroner Nicholas Rheinberg recorded a verdict of death by misadventure caused by injuries sustained from a road traffic collision.

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