An inquest held at Basingstoke Law Courts has been unable to shed light on how a 57-year-old cyclist sustained massive head injuries on a quiet country lane near Farnham. "It’s most odd, isn’t it?” said coroner Andrew Bradley. “We’ll never know what happened.”
Get Surrey reports how Patrick Williams was found near Bower Hill in Dockenfield just before 5pm on Sunday July 12. While riding without a cycle helmet, he had somehow suffered a "catastrophic" brain injury and died two days later in hospital.
An eyewitness, Nicholas Harris, told the inquest that he had been looking for road signs for Frensham when he saw a body tangled up in a bike. “I could see he was in a bad way as there was blood on his head and a puddle of blood on the road. I spoke to him, but it was obvious he was unconscious and [he] didn’t respond.”
Harris ran to his car to get a blanket to put over Williams, while a woman went to get a doctor. An air ambulance then attended the scene.
Havant-based roads policing officer, PC John Bridgeman-Hills, said he couldn’t understand how Williams could have fallen.
“It’s a very rural location and the area isn’t known as a high traffic accident site. It’s an area well-known to Mr Williams. It’s his local area. I can’t conceive how he would particularly lose control of the bike at that point. I’m a keen cyclist myself and that particular junction should have been easy to ride on a bike."
The court heard that Williams had been to the gym earlier in the day and upon returning home had asked his wife if she wanted a glass of wine. He then watched Wimbledon on television before going out for a bike ride.
Williams’ blood alcohol level was around twice the legal limit for driving and Eastleigh-based forensic collision investigator, PC Tracey Saunders, said that this was a factor.
She found no evidence of vehicular debris and no visible lock-up marks on the road and said it seemed that Williams had been riding along the road when he fell from his bike while taking a left-hand bend.
She said the crash could have been caused by an uneven road surface and Williams’ speed on approaching the bend.
Bradley recorded a verdict of accidental death and said he couldn’t see any particular reason for the crash.
“Unless it was the alcohol and the interaction with the road surface and he just got it wrong," he said. "It’s most odd, isn’t it? We’ll never know what happened.”
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