Horror death of man on bike was accident

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A YOUNG father was killed instantly when he came off his BMX bike and slid under the wheels of a bin wagon in a sickening accident witnessed by his best friend, an inquest heard.

Father-of-two Lee Chapman was taking a ride to a bike track when he lost control of and fell under the Mercedes truck on Ivyhouse Industrial Estate.

East Sussex Coronor’s Court heard how the 23-year-old died at the scene from multiple injuries on May 29 last year.

Coroner Alan Craze ruled Mr Chapman died as a result of a tragic road traffic accident at the end of the hearing at Hastings Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

The court heard how Mr Chapman’s life-long school friend David Brunger, 25, called at his flat in Chiltern Drive to go for a ride to the bike track near Ivyhouse Lane.

The pair cycled along the Ridge and then came off and cut through to Ivyhouse Industrial Estate.

They were coming down the road on Ivyhouse Lane from The Ridge which is a 1 in 10 gradient when the tragedy happened.

Giving evidence, Mr Brunger said: “We both got in front of cars. I was about 10 metres behind him.

“As we were coming down the dust cart pulled out in front of us. Lee went to go round it.

“He thought it was going to go straight on. He had no brake on his bike. He always said that he did not want to get a brake.”

The driver of the bin wagon, Colin Reed, 45, worked for Veolia based in Bexhill Road, Pebsham and had been emptying industrial bins on the estate.

He said he heard a noise as he turned into Haywood Lane and got out of the truck to find Mr Chapman under the vehicle.

Fellow employee Brian Woolven who was sat in the cab said he saw the two cyclists at the top of the hill and would not have pulled out into Haywood Lane.

Mr Craze said: “Was the sequence of events; it stops, you see the cyclists, the truck starts to move, you say ‘hold on’, Mr Reed carries on? If you had been driving would you have pulled out?”

Mr Woolven said: “No I would not.”

An accident investigation was carried out by PC Stuart Medlycott of the Sussex Police Crash Investigation Unit.

He concluded: “The driver said he did not see the cyclist and he had sufficient time to complete the manoeuvre.

“It’s possible that Mr Chapman could have been obscured from Mr Reed’s view.

“It would not have been obvious that Mr Reed was going to perform this manoeuvre.

“In my opinion, if Mr Chapman had a brake system the outcome of this incident could have been very different.”