July 12, 2022 12.50 pm This story is over 23 months old

Biker reached 168mph before dying in crash with ambulance

His best friend has been jailed for dangerous driving

An experienced biker who died after colliding with a ambulance hit a top speed of over 168mph during a journey with a fellow motorcyclist, a court heard.

Groom-to-be Liam Addison, 30, suffered fatal chest injuries after hitting the ambulance which was carrying a patient and two crew.

All three ambulance passengers were uninjured in the incident which happened on the A16 in the Lincolnshire Wolds.

Mr Addison, from Grainthorpe, Lincs, was on a ride with his best friend and fellow biker Adam Clover, 31, who was following behind on his less powerful 675cc bike which had a top speed of just 150mph.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Clover, an electrician with two previous convictions for speeding, played no part in causing his friend’s death and was supported in court by Mr Addison’s family who do not blame him for the tragedy.

However a judge jailed Clover for ten months after telling him that his “grossly excessive speed” represented a substantial risk of danger to pedestrians and other road users.

Both bikers had set off together from the town of Market Rasen shortly before 6pm on June 9, 2020.

Information recovered from Mr Addison’s 1000cc Yamaha bike showed he covered the 31 miles to the crash scene at an average speed of just over 76mph.

Steven Gosnell, prosecuting, said there was evidence from his bike that Mr Addison’s front wheel speed reached 168mph on the A16 Louth bypass, and he was still travelling at 140mph some 228 metres before he hit the ambulance.

Mr Addison’s average speed over a 2.6 mile section of the journey was calculated at 110mph – including a one mile section through the village of Swaby where the speed limit was just 50mph.

The Yamaha motorcycle ridden by Mr Addison collided with an East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) ambulance taking a patient from South Thoresby to Grimsby’s Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital.

It emerged on to the A16 at Calceby, near Ulceby Cross, just before 6.30pm on June 9, 2020, when the collision happened.

Following the collision, Clover, of Warren Road, Saltfleet, Lincs, was charged with causing Mr Addison’s death by dangerous driving.

He was due to stand trial last month but the Crown Prosecution Service accepted a plea to a lesser charge of dangerous driving following a review of the evidence which was supported by Mr Addison’s family.

References in support of Clover from Mr Addison’s father, Neil, his mother, Julie Malam, his sister, Codi, and his brother, Jake, were all given to the sentencing judge.

In his statement, Mr Addison’s brother, Jake Addison, said his family did not blame Clover for Liam’s death.

“Adam is a very good friend to me,” Mr Addison explained.

“He had to watch his friend die, and now has to live with that image.”

Mr Addison added: “Adam should not feel any guilt. The fault is not his.

“Liam would never have been encouraged, he would not have had his mind swayed.”

The court heard Clover was given a one month driving ban in 2017 for speeding at 80mph in a 50mph limit, and received three penalty points in 2020 for doing 80mph on the M62. Both offences occurred in his works van.

Andrew Thompson, mitigating, said Clover did not reach the speeds reached by Mr Addison and his less powerful 675cc bike had a top speed of just 150mph.

“Mr Addison was on a more powerful motorbike, newly purchased, and riding it a very high speed,” Mr Thompson explained.

“Mr Clover was in a catch-up situation.”

Footage of Mr Addison overtaking other vehicles clearly showed Mr Clover was travelling slower and maintaining a safe distance behind his friend, Mr Thompson explained.

“Mr Clover was able to stop some yards before the ambulance, and actually assisted the ambulance driver getting out the vehicle, as there was damage to the front door,” Mr Thompson added.

Passing sentence Judge Simon Hirst made it clear he was not sentencing Clover for causing the death of his friend or riding at the speeds reached by Mr Addison.

“It is plain Mr Addison’s family do not bare you any ill will at all, indeed the opposite is true,” Judge Hirst explained.

However Judge Hirst said it was clear that Clover had himself been riding at “grossly excessive speeds” on mainly rural roads which included the village of Swaby.

Clover was sentenced to ten months imprisonment, banned from driving for 17 months and must also take an extended retest.