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Tragic mum killed on first bike outing with husband

A husband has spoken of trying to save the life of his "beautiful and loving" wife who died after taking her motorbike out on the road for the very first time.

Sharon Topping, 38, a mother of two, crashed and died on the A9 just south of Pitlochry on Saturday evening, just two hours after collecting her new motorcycle. She had passed her basic training less than a week earlier.

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Stephen Topping, 40, an experienced biker, was unhappy about his wife’s new hobby but agreed to take his wife north on his motorcycle to pick up her new bike, which she would ride home herself.

It was also agreed that he would ride close behind his wife on the way home, stopping along the way for short breaks.

"She kept saying ‘this is brill’, ‘this is great’. We had rules that I was always behind her," Mr Topping said.

However, their two-hour trip through the Perthshire countryside turned to tragedy when Mrs Topping was startled by an oncoming vehicle and forced to move quickly into the outside lane of the carriageway.

Mr Topping watched as his wife was unable to bring her bike under control, smashed into the central reservation and was thrown off her bike, which was sent a further 30ft up the road by the force of the impact.

He was unable to stop his bike in time and smashed into the wreckage, quickly picking himself up and running back to tend to his wife.

"I put her on her back. There was no pulse but I started breathing into her mouth. I wasn’t trained in CPR but I didn’t know what else to do.

"I knew immediately she was dead but I didn’t want to believe it. I was in a state of shock," he said.

Despite the efforts of a passing doctor and nurse and a trauma team from Ninewells Hospital, Mrs Topping was pronounced dead at the scene. Mr Topping was treated for shock.

Mr Topping said his wife had been looking at bikes all week on eBay and eventually bought one on Saturday morning.

The bike she chose was "the one she really wanted" and they decided to pick it up that afternoon.

The couple arranged that she would ride pillion on her husband’s motorbike on the way to collect her purchase but that she would drive her new vehicle home, with her husband close behind,

It has emerged that Mrs Topping, who managed an Argos store in East Kilbride, had taken motorcycle lessons without her husband’s knowledge.

"She had taken motorbike lessons without me knowing, and she passed her CBT [Compulsory basic training] last Tuesday.

"I came back last week and she was wearing the biking leathers.

"I wasn’t happy but she felt very confident in riding the bike and with her being so outgoing it’s difficult to say no."

The couple, from Moodiesburn, had been together since they were 16 and have two sons, Aydan, 16, and Rhys, 12.

"Sharon was very outgoing. She was always up for trying new things. She did a parachute jump for the first time last year.

"She was a beautiful, loving, hard-working mother. We loved food and drink and always went for curries and wine. I’m really going to miss her."

"There have been lots of cards and messages through the door. The funeral will be in memory of her life."

Messages of condolences have been left on Facebook pages by friends of Mrs Topping.

One friend, Alan Ferguson, said: "Tragic, tragic news about ma wee sweetheart Sharon Topping. God looks after his own so she will be fine in God’s arms, missing you already RIP."

Colleagues said they were left deeply saddened by the news of Mrs Topping’s sudden death.

A spokeswoman for Argos said: "Sharon worked for Argos for more than 18 years. She was an experienced, well-respected manager who put her heart and soul into everything she did and would always be the first to offer to lend a hand to a colleague in need. 

"Our deepest sympathy goes to her family, and we will do everything we can to support them and her colleagues through this difficult time."

The A9 was closed southbound for several hours while crash investigators examined the scene and major diversions were put in place, with Tayside Police urging any witnesses to the to come forward.

There are no funeral arrangements in place at this stage.




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