Biker Paul Tovey died in a crash on Parkstone Road in Poole in August 2017

A MOTORCYCLIST who was riding in a group after attending Poole Quay's popular Bike Night event died following a 'high speed' impact with a car, an inquest has heard. Witnesses told Dorset Coroner's Court that Paul Tovey had accelerated at "crazy speed" along the wrong side of the road seconds before the deadly collision on Parkstone Road, near Poole's Civic Centre, last summer. The popular 35-year-old former soldier, who had served tours of Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan, was bringing up the rear in a five bike convoy on the evening of August 29.

Other riders in the group recalled how Mr Tovey had accelerated along the opposite side of the road, at an estimated speed of up to 70mph, before braking seconds before the collision with an Audi car. The Audi driver, Joe Medlicott, told the hearing, which was attended by family and friends of the deceased, that: "I didn't see the bike until we were headlight to headlight. At that point I think I tried to turn left, I think I saw the bike dropping...then there was the collision.

"I screamed when the impact happened. The bike was left embedded in the engine." Mr Medlicott, his girlfriend and other riders in the group performed chest compressions on Mr Tovey until paramedics arrived on scene and took over.

Sadly, Mr Tovey, from Poole, did not regain consciousness. He was pronounced dead at Poole Hospital. Later a post mortem examination concluded he'd died of internal bleeding and a ruptured aorta.

Witness Maria Ivanov, who was leading the motorcycle convoy after they had all met up earlier that night at Poole Quay - told Thursday's hearing (Feb 23) how she'd approached a slow moving car before electing to overtake. After recalling how the other riders also overtook the car, Maria said: "Then I just saw a bike carrying on overtaking on the wrong side of the road doing crazy speed. "I remember just looking in my mirrors and seeing it come up the side of me - it must have been doing at least 70mph."

Her voice breaking with emotion, Maria continued: "The next thing I saw was the bike crashing into the car. I saw him going into the car, I saw smoke, lots of pieces. I saw his body fly up and land on the floor.

"I was in great shock." Earlier in the hearing Mr Tovey's mother described her son as a "lovely and unassuming young gentleman who was always smiling, extremely conscientious, loyal and caring. "Paul lived his life to the full," she added.

After leaving the armed forces Mr Tovey trained in close protection, security and maritime security, before working in the security sector. He recently changed career, becoming assistant manager at the charity Dorset Reclaim. He was so popular, some 350 people packed his funeral, the inquest heard.

The court was also told Mr Tovey was an experienced motorcyclist who had consumed just one small bottle of beer earlier that day.

His Kawasaki 2 X 10 R had no defects.

Assistant Dorset Coroner Stephen Nicholls recorded the cause of death as the result of a road traffic accident.

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