An inquest into the death of cyclist Matt Collings took place this week in Truro.
The inquest head that Mr Collings was riding in the dark in thick fog on an unlit road, possibly with no rear light or reflector when he was struck from behind by a car. No charges were brought against the driver.
Police forensic collision investigator PC Paul Frost said “In my opinion, the head injuries could have been significantly reduced if Mr Collings was wearing a cycling helmet,”
But pathologist Juliane Stolte recorded the cause of death as multiple injuries caused by a road traffic collision.
The family said in a statement “We lost a very special person in our lives who will be very sadly missed. We urge all cyclists to wear helmets…”
My question is, I would understand a collision investigator to be someone who investigates how a collision happened, possibly have some scientific knowledge but probably not anatomy; meanwhile a pathologist is someone who conducts autopsies and determines the cause of death.
In which case, why is a copper spouting off about helmets, letting the family believe their loved one might be alive if he had worn a helmet? Putting aside the issue of lights and reflectors, the copper is effectively saying his death is his own fault and you should blame him.
Meanwhile the coroner found cause of death to be a RTC and said “probably completely unavoidable in the circumstances”. Probably? Another case of a driver not expected to be travelling slow enough to stop in the distance visible to them, what if it had been a pedestrian in the road, with no expectation of them wearing helmet, lights or hi-viz?
Due to the similarities with yesterday’s case ofDavid Irving’s death I think the law needs to be clarified, just so we all know where we stand. Can drivers drive at a speed that they can’t stop quickly enough to avoid an unlit object in the road ahead of them without hitting it hard enough to kill a person?