A motorcyclist who had lived in Germany may have become confused about the correct side of the road to drive on before the accident that killed him on a Northampton road, an inquest heard.
Described as a “loveable rogue” Paul Hutton, aged 32, of Birchfield Road, Abington, was a former Royal Anglian soldier who regularly visited his young daughter in Germany.
An inquest yesterday heard he died on September 8, 2013 after crashing his motorbike, – the first road bike he had ever owned – in Rushmere Road.
Collision investigator Pc Martin Abbott said tests on Mr Hutton’s blood showed he was more than three times over the legal drink-drive limit.
Pc Abbott said: “His lack of experience could have led to confusion as to the correct side of the road. This could have been compounded by living in Germany a few months before the accident.”
Witnesses told the inquest they estimated Mr Hutton’s Kawasaki ZZR600 Streetfighter bike was travelling between 60 and 70mph when he crashed.
Pc Abbott said he concluded Mr Hutton had overtaken a car near the Bedford Road roundabout and was still on the wrong side of the road when a car came in the opposite direction.
He narrowly missed it and another following car before swerving back to the wrong side.
The bike then hit a kerb and threw him against a lamppost, with the bike coming to rest in a tree.
Paramedics were called but he was confirmed dead in hospital.
The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.