Lung condition may have overcome biker
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.