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Cliffsend: Kent County Council will not paint road markings following death of motorcyclist Michael Humphries

The grieving family of a husband-to-be killed in a tragic crash have urged highways bosses to mark the side of a busy dual carriageway to prevent future deaths.

Michael Humphries was driving towards Westwood, near Broadstairs, when his Honda crashed into the central reservation of the A299 Henigist Way in March.

An inquest at Canterbury Magistrates Court today heard how the 33-year-old may have been confused over shadows cast by the sun when he attempted to over take a blue Skoda to his left.

Michael Humphries
Michael Humphries

Dashcam footage taken from a witness driving a van behind him reveals Mr Humphries was driving responsibly and within the speed limit as he turned off the Sevenscore roundabout behind the Skoda at around 3pm.

In a statement the Skoda driver revealed he could not move left to allow Mr Humphries to overtake due to traffic coming off the left hand side slip road.

Serious collision investigating officer PC Duncan Swallow told the hearing the conditions of the road and weather were of no concern and that both drivers were driving responsibly.

Both were found to have no alcohol in their blood although a later toxicology report revealed Mr Humphries was over the legal drug drive limit after cannabis was found in his blood stream.

It could not be determined whether this would have impaired his judgement.

Sevenscore roundabout leading to Hengist Way
Sevenscore roundabout leading to Hengist Way

PC Swallow says he may have been confused over where the kerb was situated.

He said: "I have considered why Mr Humphries may have hit the kerb. There was no contact between the two vehicles. He may have thought he had more of a wider space to overtake."

Constable Darren Chapman says it is probable the sunny conditions caused a shadow which made Mr Humphries assume the reservation was further away.

He said: "I recommended to Kent Highways they paint white lines, but they refused.

"The road before the Sevenscore (Richborough Way) has markings so he may have been following them beforehand."

Grieving brother Richard Humphries told the hearing a further accident had taken place at the same spot but the coroner could not count the earlier incident as evidence.

Devastated fiancee Maria Carlton says markings need to be established to prevent further death.

She said: "We as a family would like to see the markings established."

In an earlier statement the family paid tribute to their much-loved fiance, brother, uncle and son.

They said: "He was passionate about the things in life he enjoyed which were, spending time with family, comic book superheroes (especially Batman), music, riding his motor-cross bike on and off-road and mountain biking and exploring outdoors with Maria and Ziggy."

Assistant coroner James Dillion says he will write to Kent Highways to recommend they reverse their decision.

He concluded: "Mr Humphries lost control of his motorcycle on the A299 when he clipped the kerb and was thrown from his vehicle on the carriageway suffering a fatal head injury.

"He may have been confused by shadows caused by the central barrier and kerb and believe that the carriageway was wide enough to allow him to overtake the vehicle in front.

"He was found to have cannabis in his blood above the legal limit (5.3 microgrammes for 100ml of blood - limit is 2mcg)."

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