A motorcyclist lost control of his bike after performing a wheelie before crashing at 78mph, an inquest heard.

Paul Whitlock was killed when he ploughed into building site barriers while travelling at more than twice the speed limit at a Southampton industrial estate.

Southampton Coroner’s Court was told how the accident happened at Third Avenue, Millbrook, just minutes after Mr Whitlock left work at his car repair garage.

The 40-year-old dad of six died hours later in Southampton General Hospital, despite paramedics’ desperate attempts to save him.

Acting police sergeant Dan Golding read a statement from friend and colleague Michael Godfrey Payne, who saw Mr Whitlock astride his Yamaha YZF-R6.

He said: “He wheelies and once it was down, swiftly accelerated away losing control of the motorbike.”

Mr Whitlock, of Malmesbury Road, Southampton, crashed into metal fencing outside a partially completed building and careered across wasteland before landing by kerbstones while his bike was flung ten metres away.

CCTV from two nearby business did not capture the wheelie or the crash, but investigations calculated he was travelling at about 78mph and trying to control his bike along the road before he crashed.

Investigator Antony Johnson said there were no mechanical defects on the bike and the road surface was not to blame for the accident.

He added: “A major factor was travelling twice the speed limit and having pulled a wheelie.”

A pathologist’s report from Eli Jaymes revealed how Mr Whitlock suffered major head and neck injuries as a result of the accident on September 6 last year.

Police sergeant Dan Golding revealed Mr Whitlock had had a driving licence for 22 years and bike licence for 12 years and had ridden a number of high-powered motorcycles.

He said: “He failed to comply with the speed limit and has failed to maintain the standard of a careful driver. In this manner he has lost control of steering and braking when the front wheel is not in contact with the road surface.”

Recording an accidental death determination, deputy coroner Gordon Denson sympathised with Mr Whitlock’s family.

He said: “It is one of those momentary stupidities in life and my heart goes out to you.”