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Inquest hears driver would only have seen cyclist for less than 2 seconds before fatal crash

James Corlett was attempting to cross country road in Nottinghamshire when motorist hit him

A coroner’s inquest has heard that a driver would have seen a cyclist for less than 2 seconds before a collision that claimed the rider’s life.

James Corlett, aged 35, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Radcliffe Road, near Cropwell Butler in Nottinghamshire, despite the efforts of paramedics to save him, reports the Nottingham Post.

The inquest at Nottingham Council House into the fatal collision, which happened at around 2pm on 13 May, was told that a computer attached to Mr Corlett’s bike showed that he was travelling at 13mph and picking up speed as he sought to cross Radcliffe Road from a private service road.

Police collision investigator PC Stephen Farrell said that Mr Corlett, who was attempting to cross the road and reach the Fosse Way, would have been visible to the motorist who hit him for just 1.8 seconds.

He said that the driver had started to apply emergency brakes inside 1.5 seconds of seeing the cyclist.

PC Farrell said that although a ‘give way’ sign on the service road was not visible, he believed there was “unlikely to be confusion which traffic had priority.”

He added that analysis of tyre marks at the scene suggested that the car had been travelling at 44mph at the time of impact, on a road with a speed limit of 60mph.

The hearing was told that just prior to the impact, the motorist shouted at his vehicle’s passenger, “What's he doing?”

Following the collision, the pair, both trained first aiders, tried to help Mr Corlett, with the driver saying, “Oh my God, I have killed someone. We need to help him.”

Assistant Coroner Jonathan Straw, saying that was “no criticism of the driver in any way” and that “this was a tragic accident, tragic for all involved,” concluded that Mr Corlett’s death was due to a road traffic collision.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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