NW 200 tragedy ruled an accident by coroner

A talented motorcycle racer died of 'unsurvivable' chest injuries when he came off his bike in a 100mph crash at the North West 200 in May, a coroner has said.

Saturday, 24th December 2016, 12:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:44 pm
Malachi Mitchell-Thomas was killed at the North West 200 in May.

Malachi Mitchell, also known as Malachi Mitchell-Thomas, died when his Kawasaki bike came out from under him during the event and he slid for 90 feet on his chest before crashing into a baled wall, The Bolton News reports.

On Thursday, area coroner Alan Walsh concluded in an inquest at Bolton Coroner’s Court that the 20-year-old’s death was an accident and a result of “unsurvivable” chest injuries.

The court was told that his bike had no mechanical faults and that the road had been declared fit to race on.

Mr Mitchell-Thomas, who is originally from Horwich and was living in Adlington at the time of his death, was described as a racer of “unbelievable ability, who was likely to reach the top of his profession.”

His family were said to be “extremely distressed” by his death and did not attend the inquest, the Bolton News reports.

The talented motorcyclist’s father, Kevin Thomas, said in a statement read to the court: “He travelled all over the world racing motorcycles and motorcycles were his world. He lived and breathed motorcycles and knew the danger surrounding racing.”

Mr Thomas, who works with his son’s racing team, said that he had often spoken of the dangers of racing with his son, who said he enjoyed the risk and excitement of racing.

He said he did not blame anyone for the incident and that “unfortunately, this is part of motor racing.”

A post-mortem examination concluded that the rider’s bike had come out from beneath him at approximately 100mph and he then slid along the road, causing his chest injuries.

Witnesses to the crash reported that Mr Mitchell-Thomas, who had been racing from the age of six, may have driven over a “hollow” in the road or a manhole cover, which could have caused the bike to wobble.

The coroner added: “I have no doubt that he would have gone on to win grand prix around the world. It is a great tragedy that someone of such ability should die so early in his career.”

Mr Mitchell-Thomas was treated at the scene by medics and a spectator who rushed to help.