Motorcyclist smashed into van carrying children during dangerous overtaking manoeuvre in Northumberland

A motorcycle rider smashed into a van carrying two children after a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre in Northumberland[1].

Julie Elliott was riding a Honda motorcycle on the A696 last October before being involved in a collision that caused her serious injuries. The 57-year-old mother-of-two had overtaken vehicles as she approached a bend over double white lines before crashing into a van that contained the youngsters.

Elliott attempted to brake hard, lifting the back tyre of the bike, before the crash. The impact of the collision caused her to come off the bike in the middle of the road.

This week, Elliott, of Parry Drive, Whitburn, South Tyneside[2], appeared at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court[3] facing a charge of dangerous driving. She pleaded guilty to the offence.

The court heard Elliott was riding her motorbike through Northumberland at around 3pm on October 23 last year, when motorists saw her overtaking vehicles. Paul Coulson, prosecuting, said one driver saw Elliott ride on the wrong side of the road during a manoeuvre as a HGV travelled close by.

He said: “[The driver] noticed the motorbike was very close to the HGV and began to move out for an overtake, despite there being a double white line restriction. [Elliott] went for the overtake.”

Elliott, who had no previous convictions, then collided with a van, causing her to come off the bike in the middle of the road. One motorist then stopped to call an ambulance as Elliott regained consciousness.

The driver of the van that Elliott crashed into had two children travelling with him. In a statement he said he was approaching a bend when his attention was drawn to the motorbike. He said he “knew the motorbike was going to hit the van”, so he dropped his speed and steered into a verge.

He said he saw the back end of the motorbike lift off the ground before hearing the “full impact” of the crash, which caused the airbags to be deployed. He said the children in the van were unharmed but “shocked”. His statement added: “It could have been a lot worse. There were a lot of overtaking opportunities and this was not one of them. She didn’t think about how her actions could affect other road users.”

Andrew O’Hanlon, defending, accepted that Elliott carried out a “dangerous manoeuvre” but said she had been a motorcycle rider for many years without any accidents. He said: “It was a momentary lapse of judgement. She came off the bike and had multiple traumas and spent time in hospital.

“There have been significant, horrible consequences for her…she understands she has done wrong.” Mr O’Hanlon added that she had “suffered heavily” for the momentary lapse and said there was evidence she had smashed her pelvis, among other serious injuries.

Magistrates adjourned the sentencing so that a pre-sentence report could be made. Elliott was given an interim driving ban and was granted unconditional bail until her next court appearance on May 17.


  1. ^ Northumberland (
  2. ^ South Tyneside (
  3. ^ Court (