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Coroner calls for safety measures after fatal Flintshire crash

Nino Sorrentino

A CORONER has urged highways chiefs to consider putting up traffic warning signs at the site of a crash in which a biker lost his life.

An inquest into the death of Nino Sorrentino, 28, heard the tragedy happened in a “dip” in the road on Kinnerton Lane, Kinnerton, last summer.

Qualified welder and part-time carer Mr Sorrentino, from Mold, was riding his Suzuki motorbike when it collided with a black Renault Clio driven by Francesco Mondo – who had passed his test just five days earlier.

Police officer Gareth Pearson broke down in tears as he told Wrexham Magistrates Court yesterday how he witnessed the horrific crash while off duty and tried his best to help Mr Sorrentino.

The sergeant had been on his way to celebrate his mum’s birthday at the nearby Royal Oak pub when he saw Mr Mondo waiting to emerge from his driveway.

He said: “As I drove into the dip, on the right hand side I saw the black Clio and it was looking to turn right.

“Then there is an incline in the road and as I got to the top of it, I saw in the very far distance what I knew was a motorbike overtaking another car.

“The noise from the bike was incredible. It was absolutely screaming, like it needed to change gear.

“I just felt sick. I took my foot off the accelerator and looked in my rear view mirror.

“I saw what I thought was the Clio pulling out across the road and I just knew.

He added: “The next thing I saw was a registration plate spinning in the sky. I immediately spun the car round and told my wife to call the police.”

Mr Mondo said he had stopped at the end of his driveway and looked both ways before the crash, but he could not see any vehicles on the road.

“My front wheel was about halfway across the centre line when I saw the motorbike,” he said.

“I didn’t have time to do anything, he was there and then he had crashed into me.”

Sgt Pearson told the hearing how he ran to Mr Sorrentino, who was lying in the road.

“His head was resting on the seat of the motorbike, which had come off. I thought he was dead.

“But we are trained to do 10 seconds of listening in situations like that. I thought ‘he’s not dead’, and I lowered the helmet.

“He tried to get up but I held him down and just kept talking to him.”

Also on the scene was driver Lucy Rawes, who Mr Sorrentino had overtaken before the crash.

She described him as being seemingly “impatient” to get past her and said he passed at speed when it was safe to do so.

She said: “I remember thinking it was risky, but there were no cars coming the other way.”

Emergency crews arrived on scene and rushed Mr Sorrentino to Wrexham Maelor hospital, but he had suffered horrific internal injuries and was pronounced dead less than two hours after the crash.

Acting coroner John Gittins recorded a verdict of accidental death and said the speed Mr Sorrentino was travelling at would have been a contributory factor.

He also agreed to send a rule 43 report to Flintshire council, the highways authority, to ask for consideration to be given to putting up a warning sign to make motorists aware of the junction to Mr Mondo’s driveway.

Police collision investigators said the visibility at the scene of the collision would have been poor for both motorists, due to the dip and incline in the road.