INEXPERIENCE is thought to have been a contributory factor to a quad bike accident which took the life of a Marlow hotel worker, an inquest heard, although the coroner struggled to explain what happened.

Stephen Platt, 56, was driving from his job as a kitchen porter at The Compleat Angler in Marlow to his home in Spring Close, Maidenhead on August 25 2011 at about 4pm when his quad bike came off the A308 Marlow Road and hit a telegraph pole.

The inquest at Windsor Guildhall heard he died at the scene and a post mortem revealed he died from a head injury.

A statement from Mark Taunton at The Quad Centre in Buckingham said he sold a roadworthy quad bike to Mr Platt in July.

Mr Taunton advised Mr Platt, who had previously owned a scooter, to have riding lessons and delivered the bike on August 5.

He returned on August 23 to change a flat battery and Mr Platt said he had not yet used the bike.

Hubert Redzinski, who worked at the Marlow hotel where Mr Platt had worked for 21 years, said Mr Platt did not seem familiar with the bike when he left work on August 25. He said he did not appear to know it was an automatic as he was trying to change the gears.

Reem Raza told the inquest she was driving behind Mr Platt with her friend, Kiran Nawaz, when the accident happened.

She said Mr Platt was swerving across the road on the bends before they came to a straight stretch of road where he went onto the grass verge.

She said she went to drive past as she thought he was making an early turn into the Robin Hood pub's car park, before they heard a loud bang and she turned to see Mr Platt hit the telegraph pole.

She returned to the pub's car park, where she called an ambulance.

Witness Richard Neville was driving in the opposite direction and said he saw Mr Platt driving methodically and a black Vauxhall Corsa travelling about five to six metres behind but he did not see the accident happen.

Suzannah Freely, who was travelling in the opposite direction, said she saw the Corsa smoothly overtake the quad bike as it went on the grass verge. She stopped in the pub's car park when the accident happened.

In a statement she said she did not believe the driver of the Corsa was to blame for what happened.

Collision investigator, Kevin Spiller, said the crash helmet visor was still covered with the manufacturer's protective cover, which had writing and logos on it, which would have affected the view through the visor.

Berkshire coroner, Peter Bedford, said there were a few key issues including Mr Platt's apparent lack of experience on the bike which he hadn't regularly used since he bought it and his work colleague's witness statement suggested he wasn't experienced with the controls.

He said the visor sticker would have also have obscured his view. Mr Bedford said, however, it does not explain how Stephen appears to have got to work safely that day and why he left the carriageway when he came to a straight stretch of road.

He added: "Do all of these issues explain the swerving and the loss of control? I struggle to understand and explain what happened."

He recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Brother Malcolm Platt said: "He is going to be sorely missed. It was a tragic accident but now we can put it all behind us and move on."

His dad, Derek, said Stephen was missed at Christmas. They both thanked the Compleat Angler staff who were very supportive to Stephen.