A DAD who served in Afghanistan died in a crash with a lorry after riding his motorbike too fast on the A127, an inquest heard.

Bobby Munroe, 28, who was due to get married and has a young son, tragically died last December on the London-bound carriageway, close to the junction with Hobleythick Lane, Westcliff.

Yesterday, Chelmsford Coroners’ Court heard how he was travelling in the right hand lane at speeds of up to 81mph just moments before lorry driver Arunas Causovas, 35, from Shoebury, began overtaking a cement mixer.

PC Catherine Burke, of Essex Police’s forensic collision unit, said Mr Munroe, from Southend, would have been visible in the lorry’s mirror when the manoeuvre started, but he might have been obscured by the headlights of a vehicle travelling behind him.

In any case, she said, Mr Munroe was travelling too fast, about 40 metres behind the Volvo lorry, and had been “unable to slow the motorcycle” as the “gap was closing”.

Mr Munroe’s Honda collided with a panel towards the front of the right-hand side of the lorry, pushing him towards the central reservation.

Marks on the crash barrier suggested Mr Munro had tried to steady himself, but a boot print left on an upright post indicated he had been pushed him back towards the lorry he fell underneath and was killed as a result of multiple injuries.

PC Burke said witnesses told how the bike appeared to brake as it approached the lorry and probably slowed to between 54mph and 62mph.

PC Burke said this had been “too little, too late”, adding: “As the gap was closing this caused the motorcycle to interact first with the nearside of the lorry and then the central reservation. If the motorcycle had been travelling at the 40mph speed limit the accident would not have occurred.”

Causovas was initially arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and driving while unfit through drink or drugs. But tests found neither he nor Mr Munroe had anything in their systems that might have contributed to the crash. Causovas has since been released without charge, although he attended the inquest.

Mr Munroe was a former Eastwood School pupil. He later served with the armed forces in Afghanistan. The father-of-one was also a bodybuilder and was well-known at the Combat Academy, in Grainger Road.

Mr Munroe leaves fiancee, Lauren, and son Ethan, two. Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded a verdict of death by road traffic collision.