Coroner says debris could have been caused by lorry damage to verge of narrow road

A coroner's inquest has recorded a verdict of accidental death in the case of a cyclist who was killed after he was thrown from his bike after a rock on the country lane on which he was riding.

Scott Crawford, aged 50 and from East Kilbride, Scotland, died from internal injuries sustained to his lung, liver and spleen having also sustained a fractured skull and ribs during the incident that took place on Dawes Lane, Sarratt, Hertfordshire on Friday 3 August this year, reports the Watford Observer.

The 50-year-old, who worked in Rickmansworth, stayed in nearby Little Chalfont during week and would return home to his family at weekends. On the day he died, however, he had decided not to go back to Scotland that weekend so he could stay close to London, where the OIympics were taking place at the time.

At this week's inquest in Hatfield, forensic collision investigator John Spears said: "The bike was in very good condition and Mr Crawford was wearing a helmet.

"The bike had struck an item at speed, causing the tyre to be crushed and two punctures. This caused rapid deflation and the rider to be thrown off.

"The road was very small and windy, and overhanging foliage caused a lot of darkness and there were large pieces of flint and rock on the road surface."

PC Robert Hauxwell of Hertfordshire Constabulary's serious collision unit told the inquest: "No one saw Mr Crawford come off his bike. He was found by a man who lives near the lane, who saw a red flashing bicycle light and then realised there was a man lying on his back.

"Another neighbour said the water board had been working nearby the night before. The workmen had gone but there were stones all over the walkway.

"The people I spoke to all felt the stones were a factor and they felt guilty for not moving them away. They were most likely from a contractor’s lorry."

Recording the verdict of accidental death, coroner Edward Thomas said: "Some lorries have to use these narrow roads and their tyres rub up against the bank leaving debris behind.

"He hit his head very hard and died almost instantaneously. He was very well respected at work, was very happy and had lovely kids. It’s awful and very, very sad."

A statement from Mr Crawford's family read: "All Scott’s family and friends have been left devastated by his untimely death. He was a beloved son to Andrina and Ronnie.

"He will also be missed by his sister, Valerie, and was a loving uncle to Cara and Cai."

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.