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Police warning as biker dies on Exmoor
4:00pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in News
ROAD safety chiefs have issued a warning to motorcyclists after a pensioner who died in West Somerset became the seventh casualty on the region’s roads in as many weeks.
Michael Mangan, 72, died when his bike was in collision with a van travelling in the opposite direction.
Police say he was attempting to overtake a car on the A396 near Wheddon Cross on Exmoor.
Following Mr Mangan’s death, Avon and Somerset’s Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens issued a plea to road users in the force area.
She said: “The increase in motorbike and moped deaths is concerning. “The more we can do to raise awarenesseducate riders and young people, the better we can prevent fatalities and serious injuries on our roads in the future.”
An investigation has begun into the circumstances of how Mr Mangan, from Bolton in Lancashire, came to be in the collision with the Ford Transit.
Margaret Robinson, from the nearby Sundial Bed and Breakfast, saw emergency vehicles rush past not long after the incident.
She said: “There were about two or three fire engines and then an ambulance and police cars, so we thought something bad must have happened.”
In the previous seven weeks there have been 11 serious incidents involving motorcyclists, including six fatalities and four serious injuries, on the roads in the Avon and Somerset policing region.
Ms Mountstevens said: “Residents have spoken to me about a variety of road safety issues they are concerned about and this is reflected in the local Police and Crime Plans.
“It’s important that all road users take care when on the road but in particular motorbike and moped users.”
A police spokesman said the vehicle being overtaken during the incident in which Mr Mangan died – believed to be a blue Ford Fiesta or Focus – stopped at the scene but the driver left without leaving any contact details.
Officers are asking the driver, or any other witnesses to the collision, which happened at 6pm on Wednesday, September 11, to call police on 101.
An inquest into the death is due to be opened and adjourned today (Thursday).
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