A 26-YEAR-OLD died after losing control of his motorcycle and suffering massive head injuries.

Matthew James Gregory, of Field Farm, Erbistock, had gone out on his Yamaha R6 on his birthday on  September 20 last year.

He lost control of the bike on a right hand bend on the A539 just outside Penley at about 3pm.

He suffered fatal head injuries after his helmet came off during the accident.

Crash scene investigators estimated the Hawk Plant Hire worker was travelling at a speed of 67mph as he entered the bend of the de-restricted road.

There were no witnesses to the actual incident, but seconds earlier the former Maelor School pupil had overtaken a Vauxhall Astra, followed by a milk tanker, and then another motorcycle.

Kate Davies, the driver of the Astra, said Mr Gregory looked to be going in excess of the 60mph speed limit.

Further down the road he then passed a tanker being driven by Robert Griffiths, who estimated Mr Gregory’s speed as up to 80mph, before then going past an MV Agusta motorbike, driven by Philip Jones.

He then disappeared round a right hand bend. Mr Jones continued on his journey and once past a second right hand bend noticed Mr Gregory’s motorbike spinning in the middle of the road, but with no sign of the rider.

Mr Griffiths then arrived in his tanker and, along with local resident Martin Williams, of New House Farm, launched a search for Mr Gregory.

He was found some metres away in a hedgerow.

A post mortem by pathologist Dr Anthony Burdge revealed extensive injuries, including fractures to the base of the skull, sustained after Mr Gregory’s helmet had come off and which were likely to have killed him instantly.

North Wales Police collision investigator PC Brian Grocott said investigations revealed no external factors, such as debris or water, which might have contributed to Mr Gregory losing control of the bike.

He said: “There is no evidence of how he failed to negotiate the bend except excessive speed.”

A statement from mother, Theresa Gregory, said Matthew had been a loving son, cheerful and caring. He had been so popular, 400 people turned out for his funeral.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, North East Wales coroner John Hughes said: “We are left with only one reason (for the incident): speed. On that particular afternoon, Matthew James Gregory went out for a bike ride.

“He had not taken drink or drugs and was riding in an area he was familiar with.

There were no witnesses to the collision that occurred.

“What appears to have happened, from the evidence of PC Grocott, is that at the apex of a right hand bend he lost control of the machine and slid along the road. He suffered head injuries incompatible with human life.”

He added: “A young life has been lost in circumstances which were avoidable.”