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Rider killed after crash on mountain bike fitted with petrol engine

Inquest hears that David Paul King sustained fatal head injuries in incident in Carmarthenshire

A man in southwest Wales was killed following a crash on his mountain bike which had been fitted with a petrol engine, a coroner’s inquest has heard.

David Paul King, aged 58, sustained a traumatic head injury when he crashed into a wall on the evening of Friday 6 May in the village of Garnant near Ammanford, Carmarthenshire.

The fatal crash happened at around 8.55pm outside the Discovery Bookshop on Cwmamman Road, , reports Wales Online.

The inquest heard that the Carrera mountain bike that he was riding had been fitted with a petrol engine.

Mr King, a father of three, was taken to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, but was pronounced dead early on the morning of Saturday 7 May.

A witness, Nicolas Walker, told the inquest: “I noticed the bike travelling down the road at speed. The bike didn’t stop at the junction and went out of my view and I heard a loud bang.”

Giving evidence at the inquest, forensic collision investigator PC Gavin Rees of Dyfed-Powys Police said that while Mr King’s bike had no lights, the street was well-lit and the conditions were dry.

He also noted that while the bicycle was ““worn and well-used,” its brakes were functioning correctly and that its tyres were properly pumped up.

The police officer also said that there was no evidence that Mr King had sustained a medical episode before the crash.

“I have not seen any suggestion that the rider was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident,” he added.

“I found no defects that may have caused a contributory factor to the collision. I can only conclude that this collision was the result of the actions or inactions of the rider.”

Paul Bennett, acting senior coroner for Carmarthenshire, recorded a conclusion of Mr King having died “a brain injury following traumatic injuries he sustained in a road traffic collision.”

Bicycles fitted with a petrol engine are illegal in the UK and are often seized by the police, being treated in the same way as off-road motorcycles.

In 2019, when such a bike was seized by police in Pontefract, West Yorkshire Police said: “This may appear to be a pedal cycle however, please be aware that by adapting a pedal cycle in such a way it becomes as illegal to ride on a highway as a typical off road motorcycle.

“The vehicle was being ridden with no helmet and with no documentation on the highway and was subsequently seized by officers.

“If you adapt a pedal cycle and use the pedal cycle via the petrol powered engine and ride it as such in any public place or on the highway, it is committing the same offences as doing the same on an off road motor cycle.

“The owner will be liable for charges to recover the bike and will be dealt with accordingly in relation to the road traffic offences committed.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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