Family pay tribute to loving Kelso father

Michael Bates, from Kelso, who was killed in a motorcycle crash in Cumbria at the weekend
Michael Bates, from Kelso, who was killed in a motorcycle crash in Cumbria at the weekend

A father of four from Kelso with a ‘zest for life’ was tragically killed whilst riding his motorcycle in Cumbria on Sunday.

Almost simultaneously, another motorcyclist suffered injuries which later cost him his life following a crash on the A699 between Selkirk and St Boswells.

Michael Bates, 47, was riding on the A683 at the Fat Lamb Hotel, near Kirkby Stephen, at 4.35pm when he and a fellow rider from Berwick collided with a tractor.

Mr Bates was airlifted to the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, but died as a result of his injuries.

His family released a statement through Cumbria Police earlier this week. It read: “It is with great sadness that Michael has so tragically been taken from us.

“A keen motorcyclist for several years with a zest for life, Michael, who loved both home and work life, will be sorely missed by his wife Jacqueline, sons Tom and Mick, and daughters Jo and Sophie.”

The second motorcyclist, a 45-year-old man, was taken to hospital in Carlisle, where he was treated for minor injuries. The 20-year-old tractor driver was treated at the scene by paramedics.

John Southern, 60, from Blyth in Northumberland, was also airlifted to hospital after the Triumph Tiger he was riding crashed on bends near the Lindean junction at 4.30pm on Sunday.

Mr Southern, who was riding with a large group of other motorcyclist, collided with a Seat Leon car carrying three people. They suffered minor injuries and were taken to the BGH for treatment. Mr Southern, who was flown to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, passed away during Sunday night.

The road was closed for crash investigation work to be carried out and for a fuel spill to be cleaned up.

Issuing general motoring advice, Roads Policing Inspector Tracey Robinson said: “Our officers have been patrolling Scotland’s roads focusing on educating everyone about the vulnerability of certain groups of road users.

“It is disappointing that a number of motorists are still not heeding our advice. All road users must be aware of their surroundings at all times. This is particularly important when carrying out manoeuvres at junctions, roundabouts and whilst reversing.

“In particular, be aware of cyclists and motorcyclists who sometimes travel in groups. When one passes be aware that another could be travelling behind.

“It is imperative that motorists not only look but also see other road users.”