Sunderland biker’s widow urges others to stay safe

CRASH VICTIM: The late Neil Hamilton with wife Christine.

CRASH VICTIM: The late Neil Hamilton with wife Christine.

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THE wife of a Sunderland motorcyclist killed on the road has pleaded with drivers and riders to take care as the second anniversary of his death approaches.

Neil Hamilton, 60, from South Hylton, died when he was knocked from his BMW bike after being struck by a Mitsubishi 4x4 vehicle, on a lane near Tow Law, in April 2013.

The motorist was later jailed for the death of the popular father.

Now his wife Christine, 55, is backing a national safety campaign aimed at avoiding further tragedies.

She said: “On Good Friday it will be two years since I kissed my husband Neil goodbye for what was the last time.

“He left the house that morning, just like any other day.

“But this time, he never came home.

“Neil was riding a motorbike when the car crashed into him, head on, on the wrong side of the road.

“The driver was attempting to make a right hand turn and said he didn’t see him.

“Neil used to train other bikers to be safe on our roads.

“He had achieved his RoSPA Gold certificate twice, was a RoSPA motorcycle instructor and he was active in Bikewise.

“Unfortunately, he had no time to react to the actions of the driver that day and he died instantly at the scene.

“My message is for all road users to look out for each other, especially for those who are more vulnerable such as pedal cyclists and motorcyclists.”

In coming weeks, Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operation Unit will check on riders and ensure bikes are safe after the winter.

Across its area, collisions involving bikes resulting in injury have fallen from 223 in 2012, to 183 last year, with the total killed or seriously injured also down.

Sergeant Iain Rodgers said: “On a motorcycle there are no airbags or crumple zones to offer protection. You owe it not just to yourself but to others to be as safe as you can.

“Remember if it goes badly wrong, it’s often not just you that crashes.”