Lung con­di­tion may have over­come biker

Bangor Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Tom David­son

AN RNLI vol­un­teer who died in a mo­tor­bike crash had an un­der­ly­ing and un­di­ag­nosed lung con­di­tion which may have caused the fa­tal ac­ci­dent, an in­quest heard.

Craig An­drew Stead­man died on Au­gust 24 last year when his bike drifted into the out­side lane of the east­bound A55 and he clipped a Re­nault Clio.

An in­quest at An­gle­sey’s coun­cil cham­ber in Llangefni on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon found Mr Stead­man, 28, suf­fered a skull frac­ture in the crash.

Mr Stead­man, who vol­un­teered with Holy­head RNLI along­side work­ing at Tesco, was on a bike trip with Ryan Wil­liam Lee Jones and Martin Ball, both of Holy­head, when the ac­ci­dent hap­pened.

Mr Jones and Mr Ball gave ev­i­dence to say that Mr Stead­man, who did not have his full mo­tor­bike li­cence, was a safe and cau­tious driver.

The three were trav­el­ling in con­voy, having set off from the Prince of Wales pub in Holy­head en route to Col­wyn Bay.

Mr Ball was rid­ing be­hind Mr Stead­man when the ac­ci­dent took place.

“We wanted to get Ryan some ride ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

“I was prob­a­bly two or two and half bike lengths be­hind Craig.

“I saw a small grey car slowly over­take in the out­side lane.

“The car came past me very, very slowly. Craig did not swerve. He ap­peared to drift slowly into the out­side lane. He did not in­di­cate.

“He clipped the car and then fell off.”

Foren­sic pathol­o­gist Mark Lord, who con­ducted a post mortem, said Mr Stead­man had suf­fered se­vere neck and head in­juries which were “not sur­viv­able”.

“I found ev­i­dence (in­ter­nally) of what I ini­tially thought was a cancer of the lungs or lung glands,” he said.

“I took spec­i­mens to iden­tify what this was.”

Dr Lord said the spec­i­mens showed Mr Stead­man suf­fered from sar­coido­sis, a se­ri­ous dis­ease which had not been di­ag­nosed.

The pathol­o­gist told the in­quest, which was chaired by deputy coro­ner for North West Wales Ni­cola Jones, that sar­coido­sis is a rare con­di­tion which causes red and swollen tis­sue to de­velop in the lungs. One of the symp­toms is un­con­trol­lable cough­ing, which Mr Stead­man had been suf­fer­ing from in the weeks be­fore the crash.

Ms Jones, who de­liv­ered a nar­ra­tive con­clu­sion, said: “Craig Stead­man drifted into the out­side lane and clipped with the ve­hi­cle in that lane, re­sult­ing in his death with a head in­jury.

“The sar­coido­sis could have over­come him at that point, caus­ing him to drift and col­lide with the ve­hi­cle.”

In­ves­ti­ga­tors found no is­sues with the mo­tor­bike.

Craig Stead­man

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