A coroner has said that a cyclist who was killed when he rode through a red light and crashed into a car died as a result of “distraction.”
Karl Freeman, aged 52, died as a result of a traumatic brain injury following the collision on Manchester Road in Whitefield, Bury, reports the Manchester Evening News.
An inquest into his death also heard that Mr Freeman had been riding with his “head down” and that there was nothing that the driver could have done to avoid the crash, which happened on Sunday 26 January last year.
“I think this accident took place because Karl was not paying proper attention to the road,” said Coroner Julie Robinson at the hearing at Rochdale Coroner’s Court.
“This is something that could have been easily avoided and it has resulted in tragic consequences.”
The coroner, who noted that Mr Freeman had not been wearing a cycle helmet, said it was “somewhat unusual” that he had been “cycling with his head down.”
The inquest heard that Mr Freeman rode through a red light at the junction of Sunny Bank Road, crashing into a Ford Fiesta. The driver of the car had been turning onto Manchester Road.
He hit the side of the vehicle and his head hit the ground after he fell from the bike.
Mr Freeman was taken to hospital by air ambulance but died there the following day as a result of his injuries.
The coroner asked his sister, Julie Freeman, whether she thought her brother, who had a history of anxiety and depression, may have ridden into the car on purpose.
“No,” she replied. “Why would somebody do that? Why would somebody cycle into a car deliberately? He didn’t have suicidal tendencies or anything.”
She told the inquest that she had wondered whether he might have been “pursued” at the time, or whether he was being harassed by someone.
However, PC Suzanne Keenan from Greater Manchester Police said there was no evidence to support that theory.
She said there was nothing “to suggest that he was trying to get away from someone or being chased,” and that the crash happened at a speed of no more than 10 and 15mph.
“It just appears he wasn’t paying attention at that particular time,” PC Keenan added, saying that Mr Freeman was holding his handlebars with both hands, and there was no evidence that he had been listening to music.
However, a toxicology report found that Mr Freeman was almost twice the limit for drink-driving, and also had diazepam, cocaine and what was described as “illicit” heroin in his system.
Recording a conclusion of accidental death, the coroner said: “This is a death which has occurred as a result of an accident which was caused by distraction, and by Karl not paying attention to the road conditions.”
Most aero bar of all time but it's not available in a 360 mm width version.
Well, I thought it was large hands and a medium head, but the helmet manufacturer disagreed
This needs repeating more often! Most would be driven safely and the ones driven dangerously would eventually take care of the problem for us.
All my bikes are covered on the house insurance. I've done quotes with a few of these before and they all work out hideously expensive!
I also live in Cheshire and amy dealings with Cheshire Police have been variable....
I'm a saddo that does a bit of this because I can't be bothered to take the juice to be competive racing. When I tried to get a local KOM, I found...
Not been following closely, but I think Shimano have arrived at the point of being able to deliver an automatic drive train with e-bike, Di2 and...
Or a 4S, if they are still making that. Absolutely endorse Kinesis bikes.
I ended up in hospital last year after a careless chap didn't check to see if the junction was clear and drove head first into me. Another driver...
I grew up near to a notorious junction which accounted for a fatality every five years or so. It was only when a Mum and her twins were killed that...