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Motorist receives community service order and driving ban

A coroner's inquest in Blackpool has heard how a cyclist would probably have survived being struck by a car had she been wearing a helmet, the Fleetwood Weekly News reports.

The coroner heard from the consultant pathologist who conducted the post-mortem into the death of 85-year old Barbara Taylor from Norbreck, that she died from an intra-cranial haemorrhage but that “there was every likelihood she would have survived" had she been wearing a helmet.

The widow was struck by a car driven by 24-year-old David Kilgallon, who previously had admitted causing death by careless driving and was sentenced to 100 hours of community work and banned from driving for a year by a judge at Blackpool Magistrates Court.

The inquest heard how the pensioner was knocked off her bike in Cleveleys near Blackpool at 3pm on February 26 last year, when Mr Kilgallon turned left out of a side street, Conway Avenue, into the main road, Kelso Avenue, along which Mrs Taylor was cycling.

Accident investigation officer, PC Richard Roberts, provided evidence that there were no defects to the car and that on approaching the junction Mr Kilgallon had slowed down.

Mr Kilgallon said: “I’ve not stopped thinking about what happened. It’s been traumatic. I’d like to re-affirm the need for head gear. I’m a cyclist myself, and when I see people around without helmets I want to jump off and tell them.”

In recording a verdict of accidental death Christopher Beverley, Blackpool’s assistant deputy coroner, said: “Very often, sitting in this position, we have to express concern about young people not wearing suitable head gear when using a bike.

“In this case I believe the call should go out for our senior citizens who may be active and fit. Everyone accepts that while these are life-saving accessories, they can be quite glamorous. I’m sure there is suitable head gear for those of a more senior age.”