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Mike Ellis, killed on 2nd April 2012, aged 41
Mike worked for a company that imported, sold and repaired motorcycles and built side-cars. He had been out road-testing a customer’s motorbike in the Cotswolds. On his way back to the workshop, around the leafy business park, near the village of Blockley, he had come up behind a lorry whose driver was lost and had missed his turning. Despite the fact that it was a single track one-way system which looped back round, the lorry driver decided to reverse his 18 tonne lorry more than 100m back to where he thought he should be. He began reversing up the hill and did not see Mike behind him on his motorbike. Mike could not get out of the way (as motorbikes do not have reverse gears and trying to push a motorbike backwards uphill while sitting on it is nigh on impossible). Although he shouted out (heard by a witness) the lorry driver had his windows up and the radio on. He knocked Mike off his bike and then continued to reverse for more than 80m dragging Mike and his motorbike under the wheels. He only stopped when he noticed a wheel of the motorbike sticking out of the side of his rear wheel…….. Mike was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was not prosecuted. The CPS stated that as the collision took place on a privately owned business park, the one-way system was ‘unenforceable’ and as there were no witnesses, they had to take the driver’s word for the fact he checked his mirrors.
Mike was married, with three step-children. A biker all his life, starting as a small child on the back of his parents’ bikes, he loved nothing more than to rebuild, fix and ride motorbikes. His last project was rebuilding a Motocross bike, which he enjoyed taking on off-road courses at the weekend. He was also a Land Rover enthusiast and had rebuilt a Series 2 Land Rover and was the proud owner of a Land Rover (ex-military)101 , which he spent many happy hours tinkering with. A former RAC Patrolman he would help anyone with fixing their vehicles and would often stop to help stranded motorists and bikers at the side of the road. In the winter months he loved to use his 101 to tow vehicles stuck in the snow. Mike was passionate about building & modifying things and designed and built his own wind-turbine which supplied the family home with green electricity as well as installing solar panels and running his Land Rover on used cooking oil.
Mike’s sudden and horrific death has left his family devastated and determined to ensure that measures are implemented to eliminate the blind spots around all HGV’s and LGV’s. This will also help to ensure that driver’s are held responsible for making sure that it is safe before making such a dangerous manoeuvre as reversing. Please support the RearView campaign, otherwise one day it could be your loved one who is the victim
To find out more about what is being done in Mike’s memory visit: www.mikeellismemorialfund.org.uk