A BIKER died on a busy Hampshire motorway after losing control of his machine when he was distracted by a paper bag, an inquest heard.

Grandfather-of-three Robert Simmonds was travelling west along the M27 to work when his Suzuki Bandit motorbike clipped the rear wheel arch of a Mercedes tipper truck.

Moments before the collision witnesses told Southampton Coroner’s Court how they had seen a large brown paper bag fly into the path of the 49-year-old.

Lorry driver Malcolm Bourne said although Mr Simmonds removed the bag from his chest, he lost control shortly afterwards at junction five of the motorway near Southampton Airport.

Attempts to resuscitate the crane operator from Blackmoor Walk, Havant, were unsuccessful and he died at the scene from multiple injuries on August 16 last year.

The driver of the tipper truck, Andrew Redding, said he waited for two vehicles to pass to his right before he moved out in front of the bike, which he said he did not see.

Mr Redding added that he didn’t feel any impact on his vehicle and carried on to a construction site in Romsey where he was collecting waste materials.

He later approached police after he heard about the accident leading to seven-hour tailbacks and calls for the driver of the tipper trick to come forward.

Central Hampshire Coroner Grahame Short ruled that Mr Simmonds had died as the result of a road traffic collision.

He added: “I think Rob was distracted by the paper bag that had blown up and was therefore not conscious of the fact that the lorry was moving out in front of him.”