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Cyclist killed after falling into path of oncoming car, inquest hears

Coroner says motorist was “presented with a situation she could not avoid” when Huw Jones lost control of his bike

An inquest has heard how a cyclist was killed when he fell into the path of an oncoming car, with a coroner saying that the motorist could not have avoided running him over.

Huw Jones, aged 42, was on his way home from a morning bike ride when he crashed on Thames Street in Sonning, Berkshire on 10 June 2020, reports BBC News.

Motorist Charlotte Baker said that she saw him “wobble” before he fell in front of her Fiat 500, sustaining fatal chest injuries, including a ruptured aorta artery.

In a statement read out at the inquest at Reading Town Hall. She said: "I saw the rider suddenly starting to wobble, I had not seen anything to cause him to become unsettled.

“He did not have to swerve, he just started wobbling from left to right. Then the bike tilted towards my car, he came straight at me.

“I had started to brake but there was no time to react, he fell straight in front of my car, hitting into the driver's side headlights.

“He collided like he was in the act of falling,” she added. “After hitting my car, he fell into the road in front of me, lying in the middle of the road.”

Mr Jones died at the scene despite witnesses trying to give him first aid and paramedics and an air ambulance doctor administering CPR.

Forensic investigator Kevin Spiller told the inquest there was a pothole at the scene of the crash but added that “there was no evidence to show that it was the causation.”

He said that other factors that may have led to Mr Jones falling off his bike may have included the chain coming off his bike, or some other distraction.

Assistant Coroner Ms McCormick, recording a conclusion of death following a road traffic collision, said she could not determine what caused the cyclist to lose control of his bike.

She added that the motorist, who was not charged in connection with the fatal crash, had been “presented with a situation she could not avoid.”

The father of two’s wife, Julia, told the inquest: “He was going for a ride before work.

“He would have been on his way home, it was a route he often rode, he was familiar with it.

“He was a keen cyclist all his life. He went out all the time.

“He was riding his racing bike that he used for triathlons and time trials. He knew that bike very well.”

Afterwards, she said: “We miss Huw terribly but remember the wonderful man he was every day.

“My heart goes out to the driver involved in what can only be described as an incredibly tragic accident,” she added.

A family friend has set up a fundraising page to help Mrs Jones and her children Zoe, aged six and Ben, four, move to New Zealand, where her family lives, and has so far raised more than £26,000.

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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