Cyclist died of head injury after wheel broke free

A CYCLIST died of severe head injuries after the fold-up bike he was riding fell apart because it had not been assembled properly.

Librarian Roger Devenish, 63, of Hollybank Gardens, St Leonards, was pedalling down Filsham Road at speeds of up to 30mph when the front wheel of his bike came off. He fell and hit his head hard on the road.

An inquest into Mr Devenish’s death, which happened on December 27 last year, was held on Wednesday.

Louise Sargent, of Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards, was driving along the road when she witnessed the accident.

She said: “He was in the middle of the road in front of me and I thought he had fainted before he fell over, banging his head. He went on his side towards the kerb.”

Michael Simpson, of Cloudesley Road, St Leonards, said he saw Mr Devenish cycle past him before he fell off his bike just past the junction with Collinswood Drive.

He said: “His front tyre wobbled before he went over.

“I would say he was doing around 25 to 30mph.”

The accident, which happened on September 22, left Mr Devenish, who was wearing a cycle helmet, with a fractured skull and severe brain damage.

He was transferred from the Conquest Hospital to the neurological unit at Salisbury District Hospital in November but sadly died a month after that.

PC John Harrison, from Sussex Police’s crash investigation unit, said Mr Devenish was travelling quite fast downhill when the accident happened.

Coroner Alan Craze said: “Unfortunately it appears on this particular day the bike assembly job done by Mr Devenish had not been quite as thorough as it should have been. As he came down the hill the wheel worked itself free. When he braked the wheel came loose.”

He recorded a verdict of death by road traffic accident.