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Motorcycle couple died after hitting digger while overtaking on A41

By Sue Austin | Tern Hill | News | Published: | Last Updated:

A husband and wife died when their motorbike collided with the bucket of a digger as they attempted to overtake a lorry on the A41.

Stephen and Janine Mander died in a crash on March 24

The digger began to emerge from a junction on the road near Tern Hill just as the motorcycle pulled out from behind the HGV, an inquest heard yesterday.

Stephen Mander, 55, and Janine Mander, 54, from Shepley Close in Stone, Staffordshire, died instantly in the collision at the Crickmerry/Wistanstow junction just after 11am on March 24.

At the inquest into their deaths at Shirehall in Shrewsbury, the coroner for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Mr John Ellery, recorded verdicts of death due to a road collision.

He said medical evidence showed that Mr Mander, who was the rider, died from chest and abdominal injuries and pillion passenger Mrs Mander from a fractured spine.

The coroner said that the crash had been recorded on "graphic and disturbing" CCTV footage from the garage on the junction.

Accident investigation officer Constable Nicholas Stafford said the Yamaha bike had been travelling from the Newport direction towards Tern Hill.

Driving behind the motorcycle was Mr David Parry who said the motorcyclist had carried out a “slingshot” overtaking move, without a view of what was ahead before he was on the other side of the carriageway.

“I could see the digger was just starting to emerge onto the carriageway and it collided with the bucket of digger,” he said.

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Constable Stafford said in his statement that the driver of the lorry that the motorcycle had started to overtake had not stopped at the scene and instead had continued onto Holyhead and Dublin.

The driver had not been aware there had been a collision and assumed that the noise he heard had been a tyre blow out on the digger.

The police officer said that there were signs on the A41 warning of a junction approaching and also hazard lines.

Prison officer Mrs Mander, born in Jersey, and digger machine operator Mr Mander left behind two daughters.

More than £2,000 was raised toward the costs of their funeral.

Kim Murray, who set up the fundraising page, said: “Both Janine and Stephen were wonderful, kind and caring family members of the community.”

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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