Heartbroken Leeds mum pays tribute to 'cheeky and fun' son who died in horror motorbike crash

A heartbroken Leeds mum has paid tribute to her "cheeky and fun" son who died in a horror motorcycle crash just eight years after he lost his bike-loving uncle in a traffic accident.

By Abbey Maclure
Saturday, 14th March 2020, 6:00 am

Mason Foster, 17, was pronounced dead at the scene after his Aprilia 125 motorcycle crashed with a black Audi Q7 and a grey Ford Kuga in February last year.

Wakefield Coroner's Court heard that Mason's motorcycle clipped the wing mirror of the Audi as he tried to overtake on the right-hand side as the car manoeuvred to turn right.

The impact of the crash threw Mason from his bike and he flew through the air before he hit the oncoming Kuga in Bruntcliffe Road, Morley, on February 11 last year.

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Mason Foster, 17, died in a motorbike crash in Morley (Photo: SWNS

A Ford Ranger pick up truck, that was travelling in front of the Kuga, had swerved to avoid Mason's bike as it hurtled towards it.

The inquest was told Mason skidded across the road and came to a stop underneath the Kuga and was tragically pronounced dead at the scene at 9.11am.

A post mortem determined the teen died of head injuries caused by the crash, which included extensive skull fractures and brain contusions.

Mason's heartbroken mum, Kariss Chalmers, told the inquest Mason's uncle had also tragically died in a motorcycle accident in 2011.

She said she had tried to convince Mason to stop riding motorbikes after that, but he was "obsessed" with them and "could not imagine a life without them.''

Mrs Chalmers told the court Mason had grown up around motorcycles as his father Jamie and uncle Luke loved bikes and would often be "tinkering with them".

Paying tribute to her son, she told the inquest: "He was my first born and my first true love.

"As Mason was growing up, he was always cheeky.

"He was fun to be around and always getting up to mischief, but it was always harmless.

"Mason's first love and main hobby was motorcycles.

"From the age of two, he would sit on them. They were his favourite toy and he was comfortable on them.

"In 2011 the family suffered the devastating news that Luke was fatally injured in a motorbike accident.

"It was a massive blow and Mason would speak to his sister about his feelings. All the men in the family stopped riding bikes after that, including Jamie.

"But not Mason. We all tried to change his view on motorcycles, but they were his obsession.

"It was like he couldn't imagine a life without bikes. I decided it was safer to know he was around bikes rather than him doing it in secret."

A toxicology report revealed he was under the influence of cannabis at the time of the crash.

The inquest heard that Mason had passed his Compulsory Basic Training in 2017 and held a provisional licence, but he was not insured on the bike which he received as a gift.

Forensic crash investigator Martin Ward told the inquest that speed analysis suggested Mason had been travelling at an average speed of 38mph - above the 30mph limit.

He said: "As the three vehicles have approached the junction, the Q7 has indicated and began to manoeuvre into the central right turn area.

"The vehicle was almost entirely in all of that area when Mason has attempted to overtake it."

The court heard that Taranjeet Bath, who was driving the Audi Q7, attended a police station voluntarily after the tragic crash.

Her statement, which was read out in court, stated that she did not see the bike in her wing mirrors and did not hear the it approach her vehicle.

She said: "My mirrors are like having TVs, that's the perk of having a 4x4, they are literally humongous, I can see everything.

"I didn't see any cyclist. I did not see or hear the bike, I had no idea where it came from."

Assistant coroner Jan Allan recorded a conclusion that Mason died of head injuries suffered in a road traffic collision.

She said: "I have identified two factors from the evidence that have contributed to this collision.

"They are the speed of the motorcycle and the fact that Mason was under the influence of cannabis.

"This would have had an adverse effect on reaction time and judgement."