A woman who died falling from her bicycle seconds after taking a selfie suffered a heart attack as a rare complication of a head injury, a court has heard.
New Zealand born Carmen Greenway was cycling home from a pub in west London last August with her mother Sherry Bennett and two friends when her bike hit a “rough” patch in the road.
The mother of two had drunk two cocktails and four glasses of wine.
Her husband, Rufus, said: “She’d been taking selfies and had one hand on the bars. It was bumpy and she just jack-knifed the bars, threw herself off the bike and fractured her skull. It wasn’t the cycling that killed her, it was a tragic mistake. She was close to home, relaxed and having a lovely time.”
As we reported at the time, she was rushed to intensive care at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington where she died six days later after going into cardiac arrest. Her funeral was held last month.
Southwark Coroner’s Court was told her head injury caused her to suffer an epileptic seizure and heart attack in hospital.
Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said: "A CT scan confirmed the injuries. She had two fractures and significant contusion and bruising to the right side, affecting the temporal and frontal lobe.”
As reported by Stuff, she added: "At the end of the day we have to come down to the view that the death of Carmen Greenway was as a result of a tragic accident.
"The fact that she sustained a fall from her bike on August 18, that it caused a brain injury and she has suffered a complication, a very rare complication, of that injury, which is an epileptic seizure.”
Her husband has repeatedly made the point that had she been wearing a helmet, Carmen might have survived the fall.
Rufus said: "She had been taking some selfies on the main road, she did that regularly. She was not taking it at the moment of the accident.
"She was 100 metres from our house, one hand on the bars, quite relaxed, and probably had had a drink.
"She cycled that way every weekend and perhaps it was familiarity breeding contempt.
"It's unfortunately an unfortunate accident. If she was wearing a helmet she would still be alive."
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.