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Victim died as a result of traumatic head injury

The driver involved in a fatal collision with a cyclist near Grantham in Lincolnshire told police that the victim “seemed the same colour as the shadows.” 49-year-old Robert Dearing died in hospital after being hit by a Kia Rio being driven by Patricia Crozier on July 3, 2015.

The Lincolnshire Echo reports that the collision took place on Sand Lane near a railway bridge with both parties travelling east in the direction of Branston.

In an interview with police read out at the inquest at Lincoln Cathedral Centre, Crozier said: "I don't know where he came from. I saw the cyclist when he was at the side of me – I saw him go up a bit and then fall. He seemed to be the same colour as the shadows."

The inquest heard that Crozier’s car hit the back of Dearing’s bike, throwing him off. A post mortem report found that he died as a result of a traumatic head injury.

Valerie Ryall was driving along the road at the time of the crash. She said: "The woman walked towards me and I asked if she was ok? She replied, 'I knocked him off his bike.’"

Eyewitnesses said Mr Dearing was wearing a long dark jacket at the time of the collision. One motorist referred to the road as "dangerous".

Coroner Paul Smith concluded that Dearing died as a result of a road traffic collision. He cited the darkness of the road, caused by overhanging trees, and Dearing's clothing as being possible factors contributing to the collision.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

37 comments

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CXR94Di2 [1774 posts] 1 year ago
9 likes

So Clothing attracts collisions.?

The driver entered into dark area of road and hit cyclist. She and she alone killed him

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

Them long, dark jackets at it again.

 

Lock up yer young.

 

 

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PennineRider [88 posts] 1 year ago
11 likes

Driver who hit and killed cyclist "seemed the same intelligence as a potato"

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Yorkshire wallet [1428 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

The old 'dangerous road' trick. No such thing, unless it literally is full of holes or unsigned bends. 

 

 "I don't know where he came from. I saw the cyclist when he was at the side of me – I saw him go up a bit and then fall. He seemed to be the same colour as the shadows."

This bit seems like one of those interviews out of Brass Eye or The Day Today. Sadly it's not as funny given the reality. 

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oldstrath [851 posts] 1 year ago
9 likes

But generally they can see black cars? More like " it was only a bike, I knew I wouldn't get hurt." We  can only hope the driver's conscience, on the strong assumption she has one, might stop her driving. We might also hope coroners stop believing blatant porkies, but this seems even less likely.

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joules1975 [469 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

Any of you guys commenting above actually there? Do you know the bit of road? Do you know what the cyclist was wearing? Did you see the incident. No, thought not.

I've no idea what the cyclist was wearing, or what the road conditions were, or whether the driver was simply not paying attention, but given the number of fellow cyclists I've seen dressed all in black, and blending in a little too well on sections of road that have heavy tree cover, I'm sorry but the drivers version of events may be entirely accurate.

So, 1. Driver should be paying attention, and 2. we should make sure we are visible.

And before anyone jumps on that last one, I'm not saying we should all go round in hi-viz, but at the very least pick a jersey/coat that's a reasonably bright/stand out colour. Or ride with lights even in the day.

Personally I tend to ride with bold red jacket/jersey and white or bright yellow helmet, and if it's overcast I turn my lights on as well.

oldstrath wrote:

But generally they can see black cars? 

Actually, black cars can have the same problem as cyclists wearing all black. I've nearly driven into a couple of very dark coloured cars because I couldn't see them on an overcast day on a narrow unlit tree lined road (they should have had their lights on, but didn't).

When doing my motorbike training I was shown various videos demonstating how easy it is not to see things, or for others not to see you.

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Gashead [36 posts] 1 year ago
13 likes

If you can't see a dark cyclist you can't see a sinkhole or a fallen tree. If you can't see slow down until you can, otherwise it can all end in tears.

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Gashead [36 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

If you can't see a dark cyclist you can't see a sinkhole or a fallen tree. If you can't see slow down until you can, otherwise it can all end in tears.

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felixcat [486 posts] 1 year ago
11 likes
Gashead wrote:

If you can't see a dark cyclist you can't see a sinkhole or a fallen tree. If you can't see slow down until you can, otherwise it can all end in tears.

 

Exactly. Highway Code paragraph 126 says " Drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear."

This is positive, not negative. "the distance you can see to be clear", not "carry on if you cannot see whether there is anything in the road or not."

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ooldbaker [124 posts] 1 year ago
7 likes

I think coroners are worse than juries. One recently concluded that a car "could not possibly have failed to hit a pedestrian" as the police worked out that the stopping distance at 40mph. on a stretch of road was more than the visibility in fog.

You have to be extremely stupid or a confirmed dyed in the wool car driver not to see the other distinct possibility.

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J90 [408 posts] 1 year ago
7 likes
joules1975 wrote:

Any of you guys commenting above actually there? Do you know the bit of road? Do you know what the cyclist was wearing? Did you see the incident. No, thought not.

I've no idea what the cyclist was wearing, or what the road conditions were, or whether the driver was simply not paying attention, but given the number of fellow cyclists I've seen dressed all in black, and blending in a little too well on sections of road that have heavy tree cover, I'm sorry but the drivers version of events may be entirely accurate.

So, 1. Driver should be paying attention, and 2. we should make sure we are visible.

And before anyone jumps on that last one, I'm not saying we should all go round in hi-viz, but at the very least pick a jersey/coat that's a reasonably bright/stand out colour. Or ride with lights even in the day.

Personally I tend to ride with bold red jacket/jersey and white or bright yellow helmet, and if it's overcast I turn my lights on as well.

oldstrath wrote:

But generally they can see black cars? 

Actually, black cars can have the same problem as cyclists wearing all black. I've nearly driven into a couple of very dark coloured cars because I couldn't see them on an overcast day on a narrow unlit tree lined road (they should have had their lights on, but didn't).

When doing my motorbike training I was shown various videos demonstating how easy it is not to see things, or for others not to see you.

....or like a lot of British people, she was a shit driver.

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Ratfink [158 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

I'm sure there are people on here that cycle through Lambourne end/Chigwell as i know its a popular route.

I drive through there 6 days a week while i'm working i keep an eye out for cyclists/horse riders etc as i know its pretty much 100% they are going to be there.

A few weeks back as i came around a bend i was pretty much blinded by the sun being reflected off the wet road under the trees.I immediately slowed right down and caught the slightest glimpse of movement in front  of me at ground level,I really could see nothing else in front of me apart from the glare of the sun,

It was a bloke about 6ft tall jogging in the road dressed head to toe in black.

Would i have noticed a 23mm tyre? Who knows

Even travelling at about 10mph i still came very close to ploughing straight into the guy.

I actually pulled over and gave him a lift to further down the road where the forest starts.

 

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Mungecrundle [866 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
felixcat wrote:
Gashead wrote:

If you can't see a dark cyclist you can't see a sinkhole or a fallen tree. If you can't see slow down until you can, otherwise it can all end in tears.

 

Exactly. Highway Code paragraph 126 says " Drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear."

This is positive, not negative. "the distance you can see to be clear", not "carry on if you cannot see whether there is anything in the road or not."

 

Absolutely right, no argument, should always drive to the conditions, be aware that bright sunshine can give way to shadow or that turning a corner may have you facing directly into a low Sun.

But that reliance on other people being aware and attentive, skilled at being in charge of a motor vehicle and having the ability to anticipate the poor visibility didn't work out to well on that particular road on that particular day for the unfortunate Mr Dearing no matter how guilty the driver may be of negligence. We shouldn't have to, but surely to goodness it is common sense to make some effort to increase our visibility on the road. A half decent light, especially a rear blinky costs less than £20, and unless you are one of those naked cycling weirdos, you have to wear something, so why not bright, contrasting clothing? Even hi viz if that's your thing and definitely something with reflective patches from dusk. Far too many ninja cyclists round my neck of the woods and they add to the negative perception and victim blaming culture of cycling.

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felixcat [486 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes
Ratfink wrote:

 

A few weeks back as i came around a bend i was pretty much blinded by the sun being reflected off the wet road under the trees.I immediately slowed right down and caught the slightest glimpse of movement in front  of me at ground level,I really could see nothing else in front of me apart from the glare of the sun,

 

 

You did exactly the right thing. If you cannot see that the road is clear, don't drive there. I believe most drivers just keep going, and if there is something in the way the CPS or the coroner quite understand. "How can you expect a driver to obey the Highway Code and slow down?"

I guess if the darkness turns out to be full of fallen tree, broken down lorry or collapsed stone wall it still isn't the driver's fault. Must be the tree's failure to wear hiviz!

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes
Ratfink wrote:

I'm sure there are people on here that cycle through Lambourne end/Chigwell as i know its a popular route.

I drive through there 6 days a week while i'm working i keep an eye out for cyclists/horse riders etc as i know its pretty much 100% they are going to be there.

A few weeks back as i came around a bend i was pretty much blinded by the sun being reflected off the wet road under the trees.I immediately slowed right down and caught the slightest glimpse of movement in front  of me at ground level,I really could see nothing else in front of me apart from the glare of the sun,

It was a bloke about 6ft tall jogging in the road dressed head to toe in black.

Would i have noticed a 23mm tyre? Who knows

Even travelling at about 10mph i still came very close to ploughing straight into the guy.

I actually pulled over and gave him a lift to further down the road where the forest starts.

 

 

You shouldn't be driving. Anyone who doesn't have the sense to use driving glasses when there is a chance of being blinded by the sun or bright lights is a danger on the roads, as you've just admitted. 

 

And you were actually trying to blame a guy for the way he was dressed?

 

You're the guy riding around in a three tonne lump of metal blind.

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felixcat [486 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Mungecrundle wrote:

 you have to wear something, so why not bright, contrasting clothing? Even hi viz if that's your thing and definitely something with reflective patches from dusk. Far too many ninja cyclists round my neck of the woods and they add to the negative perception and victim blaming culture of cycling.

 

I think this is called unconcious irony.

Lights are demanded by the law, but was not this cyclist run into in daylight? Hiviz etc is not. I sometimes wonder if the inanimate objects drivers manage to run into so regularly should be covered in lurid yellow and reflective patches. Bus shelters, road narrowing bollards, fences, hedges, trees etc have only themselves to blame.

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Ratfink [158 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
unconstituted wrote:
Ratfink wrote:

I'm sure there are people on here that cycle through Lambourne end/Chigwell as i know its a popular route.

I drive through there 6 days a week while i'm working i keep an eye out for cyclists/horse riders etc as i know its pretty much 100% they are going to be there.

A few weeks back as i came around a bend i was pretty much blinded by the sun being reflected off the wet road under the trees.I immediately slowed right down and caught the slightest glimpse of movement in front  of me at ground level,I really could see nothing else in front of me apart from the glare of the sun,

It was a bloke about 6ft tall jogging in the road dressed head to toe in black.

Would i have noticed a 23mm tyre? Who knows

Even travelling at about 10mph i still came very close to ploughing straight into the guy.

I actually pulled over and gave him a lift to further down the road where the forest starts.

 

 

You shouldn't be driving. Anyone who doesn't have the sense to use driving glasses when there is a chance of being blinded by the sun or bright lights is a danger on the roads, as you've just admitted. 

 

 

 

And you were actually trying to blame a guy for the way he was dressed?

 

You're the guy riding around in a three tonne lump of metal blind.

 

I was wearing them actually prescription ones  and i didn't "blame" the guy for the way he was dressed  it was just what he was wearing.

BTW the jogger also told me he was completely blinded himself but that's ok he was just in the middle of the road not in a 3 ton lump of metal.

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felixcat [486 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

What annoys is this,

"Coroner Paul Smith concluded that Dearing died as a result of a road traffic collision. He cited the darkness of the road, caused by overhanging trees, and Dearing's clothing as being possible factors contributing to the collision."

 

Coroner is not reported as attributing any blame to Ms.Crozier. He does not mention H.C. 126 and its advice to drive within the limits of your vision. One presumes it did not occur to him to suggest that drivers who cannot see that the road is clear should slow down. I wonder if he drives himself?

We all know that being lit up like a Christmas Tree and being draped in eye-burning colours will not guarantee that drivers see you.

Why is so much of the responsibilty laid on the harmless and vulnerable?

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Jimnm [258 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

Most drivers can't see the wood for the trees, their eyesight might be a1 but the brain behind the eyes is somewhat lacking in reacting what the eyes see. 

Or they just don't give a shit and take pot luck and go for it, just hoping. 

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Disfunctional_T... [225 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

I'm not a UK resident, but please contact your legislators and get politically active. Writing in the comments in a cycling website like this is just not an effective means of change. Also protest unjust decisions by the courts... protest through the legal system, outside the courts, or outside the judges' houses.

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birzzles [129 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Anyone who thinks it is impossible for a cyclist or jogger to be invisible on the road has no experience.  I almost missed a horse rider under dappled shade out on my bike.  The driver here sounds entirely innocent and the cyclist the victim of their own stupidity.

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
birzzles wrote:

Anyone who thinks it is impossible for a cyclist or jogger to be invisible on the road has no experience.  I almost missed a horse rider under dappled shade out on my bike.  The driver here sounds entirely innocent and the cyclist the victim of their own stupidity.

 

Almost missed, ie. within what, a foot of the horse? Love you to explain this situation in detail.

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
Disfunctional_Threshold wrote:

I'm not a UK resident, but please contact your legislators and get politically active. Writing in the comments in a cycling website like this is just not an effective means of change. Also protest unjust decisions by the courts... protest through the legal system, outside the courts, or outside the judges' houses.

 

There's little to no judicial will for any change, and the bar hasn't taken it up either. They only really protest about anything to do with earnings, hence the legal aid protests and fee changes skirmish. They hide behind a veil of non-political objectivity, but it's bollocks, the legal profession is always banging on about causes in CPD sessions, books etc.

 

Politicians don't have it on their agenda either because cyclists are a tiny proportion compared to drivers, so why risk votes by shaking up the status quo.

Historically in this situation you need a systemic shock for a change to occur. Young photogenic blonde child of someone famous being killed by a drunk driver, for example.  That usually stirs the media which stirs the politicians.

 

Sad state of affairs.

 

 

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fenix [739 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

I've ridden past my training partner on the opposite side of the road before now. Dull day. He was under the trees clad head to toe in black.

I was doing less than 20 and looking for him.

Ifi was in a car doing legally twice that speed and looking through a windscreen it would have been worse again.

We know people aren't great drivers. We knowledge people don't pay attention all of the time. We know windscreens aren't always perfectly clear.

All dark kit won't help any of this.

Drivers should be better. We can't control this. But we can at least control what we do. Wear something bright. Put a light on. It's worth it if it makes you a little bit more visible.

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fenix [739 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
unconstituted wrote:
Ratfink wrote:

I'm sure there are people on here that cycle through Lambourne end/Chigwell as i know its a popular route.

I drive through there 6 days a week while i'm working i keep an eye out for cyclists/horse riders etc as i know its pretty much 100% they are going to be there.

A few weeks back as i came around a bend i was pretty much blinded by the sun being reflected off the wet road under the trees.I immediately slowed right down and caught the slightest glimpse of movement in front  of me at ground level,I really could see nothing else in front of me apart from the glare of the sun,

It was a bloke about 6ft tall jogging in the road dressed head to toe in black.

Would i have noticed a 23mm tyre? Who knows

Even travelling at about 10mph i still came very close to ploughing straight into the guy.

I actually pulled over and gave him a lift to further down the road where the forest starts.

 

 

You shouldn't be driving. Anyone who doesn't have the sense to use driving glasses when there is a chance of being blinded by the sun or bright lights is a danger on the roads, as you've just admitted. 

 

And you were actually trying to blame a guy for the way he was dressed?

 

You're the guy riding around in a three tonne lump of metal blind.

What ARE driving glasses? I've no idea what you mean.

Low sun is awful. I'll avoid cycling on roads like that if at all possible. I lost a clubmate thanks to a bad driver and low sun.

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
fenix wrote:
unconstituted wrote:
Ratfink wrote:

I'm sure there are people on here that cycle through Lambourne end/Chigwell as i know its a popular route.

I drive through there 6 days a week while i'm working i keep an eye out for cyclists/horse riders etc as i know its pretty much 100% they are going to be there.

A few weeks back as i came around a bend i was pretty much blinded by the sun being reflected off the wet road under the trees.I immediately slowed right down and caught the slightest glimpse of movement in front  of me at ground level,I really could see nothing else in front of me apart from the glare of the sun,

It was a bloke about 6ft tall jogging in the road dressed head to toe in black.

Would i have noticed a 23mm tyre? Who knows

Even travelling at about 10mph i still came very close to ploughing straight into the guy.

I actually pulled over and gave him a lift to further down the road where the forest starts.

 

 

You shouldn't be driving. Anyone who doesn't have the sense to use driving glasses when there is a chance of being blinded by the sun or bright lights is a danger on the roads, as you've just admitted. 

 

And you were actually trying to blame a guy for the way he was dressed?

 

You're the guy riding around in a three tonne lump of metal blind.

What ARE driving glasses? I've no idea what you mean. Low sun is awful. I'll avoid cycling on roads like that if at all possible. I lost a clubmate thanks to a bad driver and low sun.

 

Thats tragic, sad to hear it. Was in Tenerife last year and one of the warnings they gave to travellers at the car hire desk was to make sure and wear sunglasses when driving. Loads of cyclists there, especially around El Teide and to the north east, and those are some real windy roads, blind corners etc. Add in the sun and it would be a nightmare if not wearing shades and taking it easy. 

 

Bet they get loads of foreigners bombing around half blind though..

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psling [255 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

It's all well and good everytime someone drives a motor vehicle into a cyclist saying that cyclists should wear bright clothing and use daytime lighting and we all as cyclists acknowledge that there is sense in doing this BUT... by saying this and accepting this you are moving blame onto the victim.

More and more often coroners and magistrates are saying the dead or injured cyclist should have been wearing a helmet: no, this is not a legal requirement, helmets don't cause collisions; should have been wearing hi-vis clothing: no, this is not a legal requirement, clothes don't cause collisions; should have been using lights during daylight hours: no, this is not a legal requirement, lights don't cause collisions.

Vehicles don't cause collisions, drivers do. Helmets, bright clothes, lights don't cause collisions, drivers do.

 

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atgni [432 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

Darkness caused by overhanging trees is not unexpected.  If the Coroner didn't mention slowing down then he's a dick.  The driver shouldn't be a driver any more! 

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kenyond [88 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

Ive got a very bright kit (someone referred to it reminding them of dazzle camoflauge) and still get close passes and SMIDSY's. Its a sad state out there  

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felixcat [486 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

Slower moving, vulnerable road users may well be hard to see. The point about H.C. 126 is that it says, in so many words, if you cannot positively see that the road has no obstacles within your stopping distance, then slow down.

What riles me is that all the advice you ever hear is to the vulnerable. We are told to wear hiviz etc. etc. even though. as kenyond says, it is no guarantee of drivers behaving properly.

What we never hear, from coroners, from police, from road safety advisers, from drivers, even from other cyclists, is anyone even mentioning Highway Code 126.

Yes, it is a good idea to try to be visible, though there is no need to go over the top, but drivers seem never to be told to drive within the limits of their vision. It is taken for granted that they won't, and that they can't be blamed for this dangerous behaviour, and that they will suffer no legal penalty. Naturally they suffer no physical penalty, that penalty is suffered by the vulnerable road user.

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