Great Britain

Inquest probes death of Milnthorpe man knocked off his bike en route to work

A MAN from Milnthorpe died after being knocked off his bicycle on his way to work, an inquest has heard.

Joseph Eric Park, better known by his middle name, died at the age of 74 at the scene of the incident on Church Street in Milnthorpe on March 7, 2018.

In the early hours of the morning, the Haverflatts Lane resident was cycling to work at Low Sizergh Barn on the A6 when he was hit by a car driven by Nathan Holme, who was on his way to Lindale after completing a night shift, Cockermouth Coroner's Court was told.

Physical evidence suggested from a police report by PC Craig Irving of Cumbria Police’s collision investigation unit suggested that the bicycle had become trapped between the car and the kerb and that the collision occurred next to the pavement, conflicting with Mr Holme's account that Mr Park had come out into the road.

"He collided with the car, was knocked onto the window then into the air and onto the ground," the report said.

"Physical evidence shows damage consistent with a collision to the front near side of the car."

Accounts given by police officers Andrew Armstrong and Gavin Ralston, who were both at the scene, described the shock of Mr Holme at the incident, which is the mitigation that coroner Craig Smith gave as to why his accounts from the scene and his Barrow Police Station interview differed from the physical evidence in the police report.

Death was confirmed by paramedics at 4.30am on March 7, 2018.

The cause of death was given as multiple injuries after the pathologist listed numerous fractures to the skull, spine, and ribs.

A friend and fellow operatic society member of the farm worker, Alan Ratcliffe gave a statement which said: "I would describe him a really nice person, if not a little eccentric.

"He was known for wearing shorts even throughout Winter.

"He was fit and healthy for his age."

He went on to describe how Mr Park had issues with his sight, being blind in one eye due to a traffic accident in 1972 as well difficulty hearing.

The coroner deemed him to be a competent cyclist despite this as he had done so for 10 years going to Low Sizergh Barn every morning to milk cows.

"This is a road traffic collision," coroner Craig Smith concluded.

"The cause of death is multiple injuries as a result of an RTC."

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