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Why Haverhill cyclist swerved into car in Clare remains a mystery

Sean Hickey, 44, from Haverhill, died on Sunday May 1 when he was involved in a collision with a car in Clare ANL-160605-105345001
Sean Hickey, 44, from Haverhill, died on Sunday May 1 when he was involved in a collision with a car in Clare ANL-160605-105345001

The reason why a keen cyclist swerved to his death during a bank holiday ride will remain a mystery, a coroner has concluded.

Sean Hickey, 44, may have been unable to see the road clearly because of the type of bike he was riding through Clare or suffered a medical episode, the inquest at Bury St Edmunds heard today.

The inquest concluded that the death of Mr Hickey, of Connaught Road, Haverhill, was due to a road traffic accident.

Assistant Suffolk Coroner Nigel Parsley said the exact reason why Mr Hickey suddenly swerved and struck an almost stationary oncoming car “will never be known.”

The inquest heard how on Bank Holiday Monday May 1, Mr Hickey was cycling on his time trial bike along the A1092 Nethergate Street when witnesses said he made a sudden movement to the opposite side of the road.

Mr Hickey, who had been a member of Haverhill Cycling Club, was thrown over the handlebars, striking a car and suffering fatal injuries.

He was declared dead at the scene.

Debra Butler, who saw the accident, said in a statement that Mr Hickey had with ‘no warning’ turned as if to overtake a Range Rover travelling in front of him in a line of slowing traffic and gone into the path of a Citroën Picasso.

She said: “It was a sudden veer out from behind the Range Rover.

“The driver of the Picasso could not have avoided the crash.”

Sean Moran, who was driving the Picasso, said the accident happened very quickly. In a statement he said: “I had no warning or chance to take evasive action.”

Assistant Coroner Mr Parsley said the man who Mr Hickey sold the bike involved in the fatal crash had said it was designed for time trials and the position adopted by the rider could mean a poorer view of the road ahead.

The inquest heard that a computer fitted to the bike showed that it had covered 8.2 miles and was travelling at 22mph at the time of the crash.

A post mortem examination made by consultant pathologist Dr Karl Love showed that Mr Hickey died as a result of multiple injuries but there was also evidence of the presence of a coronary thrombosis which may have caused him to swerve.

Police collision investigator Pc Roy Dade said in his report that Mr Hickey may have failed to notice that the vehicle in front of him was slowing or suffered a medical episode.

The inquest heard that two years previously Mr Hickey suffered two minor heart attacks and had kidney problems but that had not stopped him from becoming a successful cyclist.

Mr Parsley said: “There is a question mark over why that collision took place.

“We have been given two possible scenarios. Unfortunately there is no way of knowing or identifying which scenario. We will never know.”

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