Cyclist died in A505 crash

PUBLISHED: 18:58 14 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:46 11 May 2010

A KEEN cyclist from Royston died when he was involved in a collision with a car on the A505, an inquest heard this week. Eric West, 80, of Barnack Grove, Royston, and the car were in collision near the Ashwell turning on the A505 on August 11 last year.

A KEEN cyclist from Royston died when he was involved in a collision with a car on the A505, an inquest heard this week.

Eric West, 80, of Barnack Grove, Royston, and the car were in collision near the Ashwell turning on the A505 on August 11 last year.

Mr West was pronounced dead at the scene.

The inquest, held at Hertfordshire Coroner's Court on Wednesday, heard from Robin Behren, who witnessed the incident.

He said that he drove behind Mr West as he cycled out of Station Road, Odsey, crossed the eastbound carriageway of the A505, and waited in the central area to join the westbound carriageway.

"I let the bike wait in front of me so he could see up and down the road," said Mr Behren.

"I turned to my left to see whether anything was coming, and when I looked back, the bike had gone and there was a car passing almost directly in front of me."

Mr Behren then joined the A505, and saw Mr West lying in the road, and a red Vauxhall Astra stopped further along the carriageway. He said Mr West appeared to be "very badly injured".

The driver of the Astra, Michelle Peck, from Luton, was returning from a family holiday in Great Yarmouth.

She said she was driving at about 60mph as she approached the junction.

She said: "At first I just saw the front wheel of the bike poking out, and I started to brake, but he just kept coming, so I braked as hard as I could."

Pc Alan Kemp, from the Herts Police crash investigation unit, confirmed that markings on the road suggested that Miss Peck's car was travelling at "something like 55-60mph," and he was satisfied that she "reacted promptly" to the situation.

Both the car and bicycle were said to be in good working order before the collision, and a breath test carried out on Miss Peck showed she had no alcohol in her blood.

In recording a verdict of accidental death, Hertfordshire Coroner Edward Thomas said that retired consultant Mr West was an extremely fit and active man, who enjoyed playing sports, and cycling with his wife Cecilia.

A post mortem examination showed there were no medical conditions which contributed to his death.

Mr Thomas said: "He may have been 80, but he certainly wasn't 80 in terms of physique.

"What happened is dreadful for his family. They have lost someone who contributed a lot to the world.

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