A motorist involved in a fatal collision which resulted in a cyclist’s death in Hampshire has been branded “disrespectful” by the coroner after she refused to answer any questions, replying with a curt “no comment” at the inquest attended by the deceased’s family.
45-year-old Oliver Gadney, a “keen and experienced” cyclist, was riding on Newton Lane, between Andover and Winchester, on August 15, 2021 with his friend, when he was hit by Alice Kitching driving a Vauxhall Astra.
Kitching was asked questions regarding Gadney's death by the coroner at the Winchester Coroner’s Court, but at the advice of her legal representative, she answered “no comment” to every question, reports the Daily Echo.
However, she was released without charge. A post-mortem later revealed that Gadney had died soon after from head injuries caused by the collision.
The coroner asked Kitching: “Are you going to answer no comment to all my questions?”, to which Kitching replied: “Yes.”
Gadney, of Greenacres, Barton Stacey, was cycling with his friend Mark Wadey on the day he died, and Wadey described him as “the nicest guy you could ever meet”.
Wadey said: “He was a generous, genuine and funny guy. We went cycling together on a regular basis. He was a very safe rider who always erred on the side of caution.”
The inquest heard that Gadney and Wadey approached a sharp left-hand bend in the road. Wadey said: “Suddenly the car was right there. I heard a loud bang behind me and saw Oliver catapulted over the bonnet. He was unresponsive, so I called 999.”
Kitching was breathalysed at the scene, which came back negative. In a statement to police after the incident, she said that she had held a full driving licence for about three months and that she had been driving at a speed which was appropriate for the conditions.
However, a forensic collision investigation report concluded that neither Mr Gadney nor Ms Kitching had sufficient time to react.
The coroner said at the inquest: “Mr Gadney was just 45 when he died. He was a keen, frequent and experienced cyclist who was familiar with the road. Based on the evidence, he approached the bend at 15mph.
“Ms Kitching chose to answer all of my questions as ‘no comment’. She does have the right not to incriminate herself. Ms Kitching approached the bend at 18mph. It is a narrow road with vegetation, so there was insufficient time for either of them to avoid it.”
The coroner gave the cause of death as a road traffic collision and gave his condolences to the family.
Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.