Talented engineer died after motorbike was in collision with mobile crane


John Valerio, 34, died in a crash at Stanton - Credit: Google Maps

A dedicated and passionate motorsport engineer who was looking forward to the future with his partner died in a crash following a track day on his motorbike.

John Valerio, from Cockfield, died on May 18, 2021, after his motorbike lost traction in poor weather conditions as he went around a bend on the A143 at Stanton, and he slid into the path of an oncoming mobile crane.

At an Inquest, coroner Tim Deeming said there was nothing that those involved could have done.

Nicknamed 'Mr Safety' by his friends, the 34-year-old was known for being cautious. On the day he died while at the racing track he chose not to go out for a session while it was raining heavily.

Born in Toronto, John grew up in an extremely loving family, where he enjoyed playing ice hockey and spending time with his brother.

John developed a passion for mechanical engineering, he attended Queen's University where he excelled from the beginning, and then went to Oxford Brookes for a master's degree in motorsports engineering.

His successful career saw him working for Aston Martin, helping lead the development of the Ford GT 2016 prototype.

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He stayed in England for work and met his future partner Emma Gaskell in 2018.

Their relationship flourished, even when work took John to Spain for a period of time, and the couple began living together near Cockfield in early 2020.

Known as a proficient driver who had motorbikes back in Canada, John enjoyed racing but would not ride them in the winter and was contemplating selling his bike as he didn't like that they weren't safe.

"He was very safety conscious, that's just how he operated," said Emma.

After a track day at Snetterton in May 2021, Emma was driving behind John on his blue Suzuki SV650 motorbike.

There was a heavy downpour as they were going back home, as a bend approached witnesses said it looked like the bike lost grip.

The crane driver, whose vehicle is limited to 40mph, said he saw the motorbike close to the white line and it looked like he was about to slide off away from the bike and into the hedge.

The driver said he only had time to slam the breaks on and hope John would slide past him.

Unfortunately John went under the vehicle and the medical cause of death was due to severe head and neck trauma.