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Mother of tragic Leeds teenage biker in safety plea

Ali Armistead.

Ali Armistead.

  • by Mark Lavery
 

The mother of a 17-year-old biker killed in a tragic accident has urged young riders to steer clear of powerful motorbikes.

Ali Armistead, of Crossgates Avenue, Cross Gates, Leeds, suffered a fatal head injury after losing control of his powerful Honda VFR 400R on the A659 Pool Road near Harewood at around 5pm on May 6.

His mother, Karen Armistead, spoke of her fears for other young riders after a coroner yesterday ruled her son’s death was accidental.

Ms Armistead said: “Ali loved motorbikes and was a competent rider, but his inexperience led to this tragic accident.

“May other young riders take heed and take care.

“I don’t want any other families to go through what we have been through.

“The law needs to be changed so young people can’t ride such powerful machines until they are in their twenties.”

She added: “Ali was a friend of many, we loved him dearly and will always miss our cheeky, funny boy.”

An inquest at Wakefield heard the Leeds City Council IT worker had bought the bike after passing his motorbike riding test just nine days earlier.

Ali, a former Wetherby High School student, had performed an undertaking manoeuvre to pass friend and fellow biker Paul Roberts when he lost control while travelling and fell from the bike.

He was airlifted by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary, where he died from a brain injury the following day.

West Yorkshire Police accident investigator PC Russell Windross said he estimated Ali was travelling between 68mph and 75mph when the accident happened.

PC Windross said Ali’s machine went in to a “weave” – caused by braking or accelerating too harshly.

The inquest heard the power of Ali’s 400cc machine should have been limited due to his age, but it was not.

Recording an accidental death verdict, deputy coroner Melanie Williamson told the inquest: “For some reason he decided to perform an undertaking manoeuvre. As he did so he went into what we call a weave, a wobble.”

 

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