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Family releases fatal motorcycle crash video

Fri, 05 Sep 2014

A BEREAVED FAMILY has released shocking video clips of a motorcyclist's road death in a bid to highlight the dangers on our roads.

David Holmes, 38, was killed on the A47 in Norfolk in June last year. He was travelling at 97mph when a car crossed into his path.

The keen motorcyclist, an Anglian Water worker who lived in Sprowston near Norwich, had a head-cam fitted to his helmet, capturing horrifying footage of his last moments.

Now his family and Norfolk Police have taken the unusual step of releasing the footage as part of a hard-hitting film.

Viewers are warned the video contains distressing footage but the film does not show any graphic images.

It cuts out at the moment Mr Holmes's bike hits a car as it crosses into his path.

The force admitted the move may prove controversial - but officers say its message may encourage drivers and motorcyclists to rethink their behaviour.

His mother Brenda Holmes, a retired nurse who lives in North Walsham, Norfolk, said she hoped that by telling the story, she could help prevent another family going through the heartache they continue to experience.

She said: "If we can prevent one accident; one family going through what we have been through then David would not have died in vain.

"I know he rode fast that day, he loved speed but he also loved life.

"This hasn't been an easy thing to do but I just hope that somebody benefits from the warning; that people slow down and take time to look for bikes.

"I'm not a perfect driver, I've done silly things sometimes and I've been lucky to get away with them, David wasn't lucky, the driver wasn't lucky."

After watching the footage, Mrs Holmes said one of the saddest things for her was that he could have predicted what was going to happen.

"He must have had a moment of fear at the end of his life; I find that very hard to deal with," she said.

"David was the most wonderful son and his loss has left such a void in our lives.

"Being without him has changed everything; our lives ended that day and I can truly say I know the meaning of heartache, it really does hurt; it's a physical pain."

Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, head of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit, said the video was a brave move and he understood it would divide public opinion.

He said: "The video is shocking, however this is the reality of fatal collisions.

"The emotions people may experience after seeing this video can only touch the surface of those feelings that families and friends go through when losing a loved one in this way.

"The consequences of fatal collisions are devastating for all involved and as such our message though education has to reflect this.

"I firmly believe this footage is powerful enough to make riders and drivers think about their behaviour on the road; and most important of all, change it for the better."

He added that while most motorcyclists behave responsibly, the causes of collisions are almost always the result of driver or rider behaviour.

"The aim of releasing this footage is not to achieve agreement from the public," Mr Spinks added.

"It's about delivering messages around road safety and how deaths can be prevented.

"I welcome the fact it will create debate and, in my view, this will get people talking about road safety; their actions behind the wheel or on a bike and it will go some way to achieving our aims."

Mr Holmes had been travelling from King's Lynn towards Norwich when the collision happened at a crossroads near the village of Honingham.

Benjamin Austin, who was driving the Renault which he collided with, admitted not seeing him or the car travelling behind.

Austin, 29, of Long Lane, Stoke Holy Cross, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and was sentenced at Norwich Magistrates' Court earlier this year. He received a community punishment.

To view the video visit

By Ben Kendall, Press Association