Former professional dressage rider died in four-vehicle motorcycle crash

Daniel Odell competing in dressage in 2011

Daniel Odell competing in dressage in 2011 - Credit: Archant

A father-of-three died instantly after his motorcycle handlebars clipped a van sending him veering into oncoming vehicles on the A146, an inquest heard.

Former professional dressage rider and horse trainer Daniel Odell suffered multiple injuries in the four-vehicle collision near Framingham Pigot on January 27 this year.

Despite the efforts of medically trained passing motorists and the crew of the air ambulance, the 34-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

His wife Alice Odell told an inquest they first met 15 years ago when he was a professional rider and they had enjoyed a shared love of horses. 

In a statement she said they had married a year later and have two sons and a daughter.

“Dan was very energetic and very positive. He would always make things exciting,” she added.

After a knee injury had forced him to retire from competitive dressage he took up training other riders before spells working in property development, as a prison guard and as a hospital estates manager in Norwich.

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She said he had brought a Honda CBR 650 motorcycle in order to commute from the family home at Worlingham, near Beccles.

The inquest was told although the accident occurred less than four months after he obtained a full bike licence.

He had previously held one many years before.

Witness statements read at the hearing described how Mr Odell clipped a Vauxhall Combo van that had stopped for vehicles turning into the Sallow Lane and Newarch Lane staggered junction on the Loddon Road.

He veered into oncoming traffic, hitting a Ford Transit van and then a Land Rover Defender.

PC Jamie Hutchin, who investigated the collision, said: “Though he had overtaken several vehicles, dash-cam footage and witness evidence do not suggest Mr Odell was riding in anything other than a safe and sensible manner.”

Ronald George, who was driving the Ford Transit, said in a statement the accident had occurred “in the blink of an eye”. 

“I walked to the back of my vehicle and saw a bloke lying in the middle of the road. There were people around him. I turned away as I could not look. I leaned on my truck with my head in my hands,” he added.

Norfolk area coroner Yvonne Blake concluded that Mr Odell's death was as the result of a road accident.