A motorcyclist suffered “pure bad luck” when he was killed in a collision with a deer and a tree.

Michael Eades, 59, of Malthouse Way in Cooksbridge, near Lewes, struck the deer shortly after 6am on August 13 last year.

His inquest heard how the engineer, who worked for Thomas Cook at Gatwick Airport, crashed into the animal on the A275 in Beggars Wood in North Chailey, near Burgess Hill.


A coroner at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court was told how he braked suddenly after spotting the deer but could not avoid hitting it.

After the initial collision he crashed into a “substantially sized tree” on the opposite side of the carriageway and died instantly of multiple injuries.

Mr Eades’ daughter Naomi, 27, said: “My dad was generous and loving. He was a safe rider and we are devastated over his death.

“The only thing I will say is that they need to put some signs up in the area warning of animals. There is a plastic temporary one up at the moment but to help other people they need to put proper ones up I think. He was a good man.

"I would like to give our gratitude and thanks to Sussex Police for their support and work during this hard time - especially to our family liaison officer.”

Mr Eades’ body was discovered by car driver Derek Bonfield, from Lewes.

He said Mr Eades rode “impeccably” when he overtook him on his motorcycle minutes earlier.

Mr Bonfield said he had travelled the route for “many years” but had never seen deer in the area.

Toxicology reports found no sign of alcohol or drugs in Mr Eades body and there were no mechanical problems with his red Honda VFR800i bike.

Police investigations also found he was travelling within the 60mph speed limit.

Recording a verdict of accidental death due to a road traffic collision, Alan Craze, coroner for East Sussex, said: “This was just pure bad luck and a tragic accident. The deer jumped out in front of him and I do not believe it was just standing in the road visible to him.

“I will not be writing an official letter regarding road signs but can I recommend to the police that it is looked into.”