A coroner’s inquest in Hull has heard how a teenage cyclist died from head injuries sustained when a deer jumped over a fence and into his path as he rode at an estimated speed of 40 miles an hour.
As reported on road.cc at the time, Ben Madden, aged 15 and from Brough, died in Hull Royal Infirmary on Sunday 31 July this year. He had been in a coma since the incident, which happened on Tuesday 26 July as he rode along Elloughton Dale, East Yorkshire, with a group of friends.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, Coroner Rosemary Baxter said it was impossible for Ben to avoid colliding with the deer, reports the website This Is Hull and East Riding.
"The deer jumped the fence right into Ben's path and he had no time to react and hit the back end of the animal.
"There was no opportunity to take evasive action and his head impacted on the road surface."
Eyewitness Lisa Harrison told the inquest how events had unfolded.
"I saw four cyclists riding in single file," she explained.
"I immediately clocked a deer coming down when it suddenly jumped the barbwire fence.
"It ran right into the path of the cyclist and he could not have seen it at all.
"It happened so quickly that he couldn't even react to bring his hands down and he landed on his head.
"He had no chance of avoiding the deer," she added.
In a statement, Ben’s father Darren Madden described how his son, who was also a promising footballer with his local team, was an experienced and confident cyclist.
"He had recently excelled at cycling," he revealed.
"At a cycling event called the Big G, he received backing from Richardson's Cycles in Hull.
"He was an experienced rider who would think nothing of travelling 100 miles.
"He was confident as a rider and as a person.
"His bike could reach speeds of 45mph and may have been travelling at 35-40mph at the time.
"He would normally wear a helmet, but I'm not sure if it would have made a difference on this occasion.
"He was doing what he loved and no one could have predicted the circumstances surrounding his death.
"He was a popular boy who had many friends and lived life to the full," Mr Madden added.
The inquest also heard from vehicle examiner Michael Waudby who stated that Ben’s bike, a Cube Litening, was in good working order when the incident took place.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.