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Derby Daily Telegraph 1 Feb 1937

A MISTAKEN signal was suggested as the cause of a fatal accident, by a witness at an inquest at Derby on Saturday.
The inquest was on John Francis Davis (28), of 68, Church-street, Derby, an engineer's miller employed by Messrs. Rolls-Royce, Ltd., of Derby, who received fatal injuries when a motors cycle that he was driving crashed into a motor-lorry on the main road at Mickleover between Derby and Burton.
A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.
Leonard Andrews, Cromwell-road, Derby, said that on the afternoon of November 28, he was motor-cycling towards Burton following Davis. A lorry was travelling in front of Davis, the same direction and further ahead was a stationary omnibus on its correct side of the road, also facing Burton.
Approaching the omnibus, the lorry swerved out into the middle of the road. Davis was about to pass the lorry, when it turned into Havenbaulk-lane, and there was a collision.
Andrews said that he thought that Davis might have mistaken the signal of the lofry driver, who had put out his hand a warning that he was going to turn into Havenbaulk-lane. Davis might have thought that the lorry driver was signalling his intention of passing the omnibus.
There would have been room for Davis and the lorry to have passed the omnibus at The same time. Replying to Inspector Bradwell, Andrews said that the lorry driver gave the signal about 20 yards before turning into Havenbaulk-lane. Edwin George Gilman, farmer, Derby-lane Farm, Shirley, the driver of the lorry, said that he looked into his driving mirror, but could not see any traffic coming from behind.
When he was just entering Havenbaulk-lane, a motor-ryclist "whizzed past the front the lorry," struck the front offside wheel, hub and mudguard, went on to the pavement.
Harry Pegg, textile worker of Pear Tree-street, Derby, stated that he was riding with Davis as pillion passenger, and their speed, before the accident, was 25 miles an hour. saw the lorry driver put out his hand and turn out to pass the omnibus. He could not remember whether the motor-cycle hit the lorry or. not. He was thrown off, but was not injured.
The driver of the omnibus, Percy Scotcher, also gave evidence.John William Davis, clerk, said his son, who lived with him, was taken to the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary after the accident, and stayed there for six weeks. He returned home, but last Thursday he became ill and was given tablets by a doctor. Later, he began to gasp for breath, and died before the doctor could be called.

© British Newspaper Archive

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