Cyclist died after being struck by three carsBy Laura Herbert
April 27, 2011
An elderly cyclist was struck by two cars and run over by a third as he cycled along the A322 last autumn, an inquest heard.
Regular cyclist William Honour, of Bucklebury, Hanworth, was pedalling in Bagshot Road, which has a speed limit of 70mph, at around 9.45am on Saturday, October 23, 2010.
An inquest at Windsor Guildhall heard how the 79-year-old appeared from nowhere in front of a blue Ford Focus, ricocheted into the path of a red Alfa Romeo before being struck by a blue Citroen C1.
He later died of serious head injuries.
The coroner’s court heard how Mr Honour was not wearing a helmet at the time, prompting Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford to issue a stark warning about the importance of cyclist safety.
He said that wearing a helmet could possibly have saved Mr Honour’s life.
Giving evidence Michael Bull, the driver of the Ford Focus said: “I looked in my mirror after I heard a bang on the nearside door. Someone appeared to be falling over. I didn’t see a bike, I thought he was a pedestrian.
“I did feel I was driving as carefully as I could.”
Driver of the Alfa Romeo Rachel Marriott was travelling with three friends to a hockey game.
Holding back tears she said: “When I saw him he was upright cycling and there was no cause for concern.
“I noticed mist on my window and I went to put my right hand up and as my hand made contact with the windscreen my bonnet was level with the cyclist and I saw the cyclist wobble which made me react. I swerved right and didn’t even check my blind spot so I’m glad there was nothing on my right side.
“I knew he was falling so I had to get out of the way.”
The inquest heard the nearside wing mirror on the Alfa Romeo had been knocked out of place.
Catherine Nicker, the driver of the Citroen C1, told the inquest she was travelling at around 40mph and left a space of two car lengths from the Alfa Romeo in front.
She said: “I first saw the cyclist coming out to the side of the car in front.
“He came out and already started to fall, he was astride his bike on the floor. I was in shock, it all happened so quickly.
“Maybe if I had left more space between me and the car in front, but I thought I had left enough room. Apart from that there’s nothing I could do.”
Earlier that morning other motorists including Zoe Cowley and her mum Deborah Hall saw Mr Honour in the same stretch of road.
In a statement read out at the inquest last Thursday, April 14, Deborah said: “He appeared very wobbly similar to a child first learning how to ride a bike.”
A post mortem examination revealed Mr Honour, whose daughter attended last week’s inquest, suffered life-threatening head injuries and died a day later at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.
Although it was bright and sunny that day, the road was damp and Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford admitted that the conditions might have been a key factor.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, he added: “Perhaps all of us can learn something from this tragic event. I do feel wearing a helmet would have increased Mr Honour’s chances of survival.
“We are all very quick to put helmets on our children but we are all vulnerable.
“Whether it would have changed the outcome I cannot say.”