A cyclist riding along a rural country lane in Kent was killed by a falling tree yesterday, officers have confirmed.
Kent Police released a statement, reported by Kent Online, which stated they had been called to the scene on Friday morning, with a man confirmed to have died at the scene.
"We were called at 7.30am today (Friday, September 22) to a report that a cyclist had been struck by a falling tree in Box Lane, Faversham," a spokesperson said. "Officers attended to assist medical crews from South East Coast Ambulance Service, and a man was confirmed deceased at the scene. Next of kin have been informed and the matter will now be passed to the coroner."
South East Coast Ambulance Service paramedics also attended following a report to them at around 7.15am.
News spread quickly among local papers and on community Facebook groups, with some pointing out how "dangerous" the situation has become when using the rural roads around the area in periods of stormy weather and high winds.
"How awful. The trees are so dangerous I have to drive these lanes to get my son to school and they are awful," one local said. "Last year when the wind picked up, a massive tree branch fell inches from my car. They need sorting."
"So very sad. We have to go through these lanes very regularly and some of the trees half hang over. It's quite scary driving through," another added.
Last October, the UK's largest cycling retailer, Halfords, came under criticism after posting on social media advising riders that they "strongly recommend" wearing a helmet while cycling in case a tree branch falls on your head.
"Bike helmets can literally save lives & prevent cyclists from incurring brain damage in extreme circumstances. They're the equivalent of airbags for a car – you wouldn't want to be without them. Whilst riding without a helmet isn't illegal, we strongly recommend wearing one," the retailer added.
In 2018, footage was widely shared on Facebook of a shocking near miss when a cyclist narrowly escaped being hit by a falling tree after tree surgeons lost control of it while trying to bring it down.
While last year a cyclist in Lincolnshire suffered serious injuries after the council failed to remove a fallen tree from a bike path. An official from Lincoln City Council admitted that "in hindsight, [the tree] should have been removed as soon as possible" after the local authority had been made aware of the problem, which caused a cyclist to crash on the path along the River Witham.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.