Road toll continues

ON Sunday morning, a group of mates left Coffs Harbour on a motorbike ride to Grafton.

Tragically, one of them ? Coffs Harbour 21-year-old Brendan Goodard ? was lost along the way.

The cause of the fatal smash on Orara Way at Lanitza, 15 kilometres south of Grafton, is being investigated.

Brendan ? who was on a work break from Coffs Harbour's Powerhouse Gym ? and his brother, Michael, were part of the group which set off at 8am.

Sergeant Graeme Kady said that during the journey, the riders split and Brendan remained with three others, including his brother, at the rear.

When he was 3.5 kilometres south of the BP Service Station at Lanitza, Brendan managed to maintain control of his machine despite hitting a kangaroo.

He stopped his bike to check it, and the group of four then continued north.

"At some time, two other riders who'd gone ahead had stopped at the service station at Lanitza and they became concerned about their mates travelling behind," Sgt Kady said.

They went back south to check. When Brendan, who was leading his party, passed the southbound motorcyclists, he apparently braked suddenly, lost control and fell onto the road, Sgt Kady said.

A Coffs Harbour man, 44, riding behind him also came off his bike.

Brendan died at the scene despite frantic attempts to revive him. The 44-year-old was later taken to Grafton Base Hospital where he was treated for bruising and shock.

Police, ambulance and the Rural Fire Service rushed to the scene. Orara Way was closed for four hours from Parker Road at Kungala to Armidale Road at South Grafton.

Crash investigators have asked anyone who may have seen the accident to contact them at Ballina Police Station on 6681 8699.

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