A coroner has said that a “misjudged action” may have led to the death of a 71-year-old cyclist in West Sussex last year after he rode into the path of a bus.
An inquest at Crawley Coroner’s Court heart that Robert Edmond, a retired accountant from Itchenor, Chichester, would go cycling most afternoons, reports the Chichester Observer.
He died on 8 September last year in Southampton General Hospital from head injuries sustained the previous day in a collision with a bus on Cakeham Road in West Wittering.
Collision investigator PC Stephen Ashby told the inquest that Mr Edmond had been cycling north on a shared path on the east side of the path then left it, crossed the southbound carriageway and entered the northbound carriageway into the path of a bus.
“CCTV footage shows three seconds elapses from the point he leaves the cycle path to impact,” he said.
He added that either Mr Edmond did not look behind him, or did but did but either failed to see the bus or misjudged its speed, noting that the sun would have been directly in his line of sight.
Jeremy Norris, the driver of the bus, which was travelling at a little more than 30mph, swerved but could not avoid hitting Mr Edmond.
He said in a statement: “I have played the event over and over in my mind. I truly believe there was nothing I could have done.”
Assistant coroner Chris Wilkinson, who described the collision as “a tragically timed incident,” said that Mr Edmond’s manoeuvre was “a misjudged action.”
The victim’s son James raised concerns about the shared use path at the inquest, saying that further on from where Mr Edmond left it, the path came to a stop, but there was “nothing to suggest what you should do.”
The coroner said that although the layout of the shared use path had “potential” to cause risk, there was not sufficient evidence for him to report it.
“It may have been that Robert was aware of the deficiencies of the cycle lane and decided to exit at a safer point,” he said.
“I don’t know what was going through his mind at that point.”
Concluding that Mr Edmond died as a result of accidental death as a result of a road traffic incident, he noted that he was unsure if it would have “made a difference at all” had he been wearing a helmet.
He added: “I can only advocate in the interests of safety that, given a choice, people do wear one.”
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.