Kevin Ash inquest's accidental death verdict

Calls for BMW to release findings

AN inquest into the death of motorcycle journalist Kevin Ash who was killed while riding at a BMW press launch has recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Ash, motorcycle correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and probably the UK’s best-known bike journalist, crashed on a gravel road during the launch ride of the R1200GS in South Africa on January 22 last year. Dusty conditions prevented other journalists riding in the press group from seeing how the accident happened.

Warwickshire coroner Sean McGovern said: "There were no witnesses to what happened, and there is not enough evidence to give any other verdict.

"I am not here to apportion blame to the bike, the road or the weather. I am unable to make a decision because of insufficient evidence.

"It is clear there was an accident for reasons that remain unclear." 

BMW was able to withhold the findings of an investigation into the crashed bike on the grounds they may be used in future legal proceedings.

Caroline Ash, Kevin's widow, has made repeated calls for BMW to release the findings.

After Friday's inquest she said: "I believe BMW owe it to Kevin, myself, and to our daughters to reveal what they know about Kevin's accident.

"If anyone deserves to know why Kevin died, it is us."

The coroner noted during the inquest: "BMW is a large organisation that might want to be seen to be helping a family."

A BMW spokesperson said: “Following the accident a thorough investigation was carried out on all aspects of the motorcycle Kevin rode at the time of the incident. The investigation showed that all of the motorcycle’s parts were functioning as they should and there was no evidence found of any kind of mechanical problem or failure which caused or contributed to this accident.

“The report was prepared in contemplation of possible legal proceedings and therefore remains legally privileged.”