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Denholme biker father dies following accident
A 43-year-old father-of-three has died suddenly – nearly two months after he suffered serious leg injuries in a freak motorcycle accident.
Mark Bennett, who fractured a leg in three places when he lost his balance and fell under his Triumph Thunderbird at low speed, was found dead at his home in Denholme by his wife Wai-Ling, a nurse.
He is believed to have died from a pulmonary embolism, although the formal cause has yet to be established and tests are being carried out.
Mr Bennett was released from hospital five weeks ago after undergoing operations on his injured leg at Leeds General Infirmary.
The avid motorcycle enthusiast had suffered the accident on July 4 when he was riding out of the cul-de-sac where he lived.
The electrician and joiner taught at Leeds City College’s Keighley Campus, and was a member of Hebden Bridge-based Bridge Rats Motorcycle Club.
He leaves his wife of almost 15 years, sons, Alex, 12, and Ethan, four and daughter Hannah, eight.
Mrs Bennett, who works at Airedale Hospital, told of her shock at discovering her husband’s body on September 1.
She said: “I found him in his armchair at 9.15am. He must have gone in the night. He had not complained of anything. It was a huge shock. I hadn’t heard him cry out in pain, I just found him.
“We’ve been married since 1998. We were going to celebrate our anniversary on the 12th.
“He would do everything for people, he’d do anything for the neighbours, he mowed people’s lawns and dug them out of the snow.”
She said her children were still coming to terms with the loss of their father.
Andy Nicholson, chairman of the Bridge Rats, said: “He was a big bike fan. He was a damn good friend, Mark was like family. It is a strong community, and we’re getting together to take him on one final ride at the funeral.”
He said Mark had been riding at about 5mph when the accident happened, but with his bike weighing more than 400kg, it had caused him a serious injury.
Mr Nicholson said: “It is the type of accident that could have happened in a garage or as you get on to a bike.
“He loved the club and the family element of the club. It is a very close-knit community. We hope to give him the best send off we can give him.
“I think he’ll carry on riding, he’ll be riding forever. He was one of the good ones. He had a heart of gold – a big guy with a massive heart.”
Peter Roberts, principal and chief executive at Leeds City College, said: “Mark was a hugely-respected and popular member of staff with colleagues and students. He will be very much missed, and fondly remembered. Our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time.”
Mr Bennett’s family hope to hold his funeral at the end of this month and many of his friends at the motorcycle club intend to join the cortege.
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