AN ENGINEER described by relatives as a “gentle soul” died after riding his motorbike into a lorry, an inquest found.

Paolo Rossi, 33, from Seaford, was riding his Honda motorbike on the A27 in Polegate when he veered on to the other side of the road and into a Volvo tipper lorry heading in the other direction.

It caused him to be “catapulted” off the bike.

An inquest into his death at Eastbourne Coroner’s Court yesterday heard that he died at the scene shortly after 5pm on March 27.

His mother said: “He was always the voice of reason, which is something always repeated by his friends.

“He loved his Volkswagen van, his husky and his bikes. He had everything he wanted, his partner Paula, his children and his dogs. He absolutely adored his two step-children Jake and Isabelle.

“He was a wonderful, loving young man who worked so hard to provide for his family.

“His aim was to make other people happy and he would never take anyone or anything for granted.

“He had come for a few rides with us and we were proud of his riding skills.

“He was truly unique.

“We are all completely lost without him.”

The inquest heard that Mr Rossi had been riding down the tight road behind a Ford Transit van when other motorists saw him suddenly “fishtailing” as though he was losing control of the bike.

Graham Clarke, 45, from Eastbourne, who was driving the Volvo lorry home after an MOT, did not suffer any injuries in the collision.

The inquest heard his vehicle ended up with two wheels on the pavement at the roadside after it was hit by the motorbike.

Mr Clarke told the inquest: “I could see past the Transit van and could see his motorbike behind it. He was trying to brake and then started to brake very hard.

“He had quite clearly lost control. At the last second he veered across in front of me. The bike took out my bumper and came to a stop at the side of the carriageway.”

Other drivers on the road at the time recalled seeing the bike being “driven well” before noticing an “erratic movement on the motorbike” moments before the crash that sent debris across the road, including one of the bike’s wheels.

The drivers said they rushed from their vehicles to help.

One of them was a doctor who tried to give Mr Rossi CPR, but he could not find a pulse.

Christopher Harrison, a forensic collision investigator for Sussex Police, said there was no evidence of any defects in either of the two vehicles involved in the crash.

He said visibility was good and that both vehicles were travelling below the speed limit.

Mr Harrison added: “There is nothing to show any excessive speed with either the motorcycle or the lorry.

“The lorry was in the correct position in its lane and braked hard.

“He had clearly steered to the left to try and avoid the motorcycle.”

Pathologists found the cause of death to be multiple severe injuries consistent with a head-on collision.

A toxicology report revealed that Mr Rossi had taken tramadol, although the prescription pain killer was not present in excess.

East Sussex senior coroner Alan Craze concluded that Mr Rossi died as the result of a road traffic collision.

Mr Craze said: “It is well known that in road traffic collisions the person on a motorbike is likely to come off worse.

“This has been an absolute tragedy.

“It must be devastating for the family to come to terms with.”