St Leonards motorcyclist may have suffered medical episode before fatal A21 crash

A motorcyclist who died in a road traffic collision may have been suffering a type of diabetic episode in the moments before the fatal crash, an inquest has heard.

Tuesday, 20th October 2020, 3:08 pm

Adrian Caddy, 66, of De Cham Road, St Leonards, died on the A21 just south of Marley Lane at about 5.35pm on March 18, 2020.

An inquest into his death, held in Hastings today (Tuesday, October 20), heard Mr Caddy had been a Type 1 diabetic who relied on insulin since 1971.

On the day of his death, he had been travelling south on the A21 towards Hastings when he approached a slight left hand bend just south of Marley Lane.

Adrian Caddy. Picture: Sussex Police SUS-201020-143819001

Mr De Oliveira, a motorcyclist who had been riding his own motorcycle behind Mr Caddy, said the 66-year-old had been reacting ‘very slowly’ to the corners, drifting into the opposite lane of traffic when the road bent to the left and ‘almost into the bushes’ when the road bent to the right. Mr De Oliveira said he initially thought the motorcyclist in front of him was ‘very drunk’.

As the road began bending slightly to the left, Mr De Oliveira described seeing Mr Caddy travel into the north bound carriageway and into a lay-by where he and his motorcycle collided with a stationary Seat Altea.

The court heard Mr Caddy suffered multiple injuries, including a skull fracture, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The court also heard from Mr Caddy’s GP Dr Donna Gibson who said she could not rule out whether Mr Caddy was suffering a hypoglycemic episode moments before the collision, which would have affected his ability to control his motorcycle.

Dr Gibson said it was common for people, including even paramedics, to think someone was drunk when they were suffering one of these episodes. She said this attack was consistent with Mr De Oliveira’s testimony about Mr Caddy’s driving prior to the fatal collision.

A police investigation found no fault with Mr Caddy’s motorcycle or any issue on the road surface which could have contributed to the collision.

The DVLA confirmed Mr Caddy had permission to drive and underwent tests every three years.

In the weeks following the fatal collision, Mr Caddy’s family said: “Words are difficult to express the deep sorrow and the void left by the loss of Adrian in such tragic circumstances.

“He will always be remembered as a loving, treasured and loyal man to his partner, a loving and devoted father to his son, and a great friend to many.

“He was a beautiful man, intelligent and witty, a dreamer of dreams, a fervent defender of the natural world who emphatically led life with his heart.”

Senior coroner for East Sussex Alan Craze returned a conclusion of death by road traffic collision.