A FORMER Isle of Man TT rider who was killed when his bike collided with a car could have avoided the accident had he reacted sooner, an inquest has heard.

Andy McGladdery, one of the region’s most successful racers, died when his Kawasaki was in a collision with a Ford Galaxy near Darlington in July last year.

Today (Tuesday, January 7) his family paid tribute to him and thanked the motorcycling community for their help following his death.

Speaking after the inquest at The Work Place, in Newton Aycliffe Business Park, his son Nick said: “It is a terrible tragedy, we loved him from the bottom of our hearts. He is still missed by us every single day.”

The inquest heard how the 58-year-old, who had competed in the Isle of Man TT against motorcycling legend Joey Dunlop, struck the car on the B6279 Staindrop Road on the outskirts of Darlington, at a staggered junction near Ulnaby Lane and Walworth Road.

A police collision investigation found evidence to suggest the car would have been obscured from Mr McGladdery’s view by a bend in the road and high hedgerows, giving him less than five seconds to react as it began to turn right into Walworth Road.

PC Paul Harris, of Durham and Cleveland Specialist Operations Unit, said Mr McGladdery applied his brakes, but hit the vehicle at about 50mph and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination revealed he had died from multiple injuries.

“If he had acted on emergency braking at the point of first seeing the car he could have come to a complete standstill before the collision,” said PC Harris.

The driver of the car, Patrick Hurge-Mogg, told the inquest he did not see the bike when turning left from Ulnaby Lane onto the B6279, nor when he looked in his rear-view mirror when turning right onto Walworth Road.

Tom Leonard, a friend of Mr McGladdery who was out riding with him at the time of the collision, said: “Andy has ridden the TTs, championships and grand prix, he was a very experienced motorcyclist.

“I myself have won national competitions, we are not people who wanted to go for a quick hit on a Sunday and try to get our kicks.”

Assistant deputy coroner Leslie Hamilton ruled Mr McGladdery died as a result of a road traffic collision.