Teen cyclist knocked down and killed on way to farm
A TEENAGER was knocked down and killed by a car as he cycled to a farm where he volunteered.
Ewan Todd, 18, was thrown more than 20 metres after he was struck while crossing Hopwell Road, Draycott, in November.
At an inquest, the driver of the car, Mark Goulding, was found not to be at fault and Louise Pinder, Deputy Coroner for Derby and South Derbyshire, ruled that the youngster's death was an accident.
Derby Coroner's Court heard that on November 30, Ewan had left his home in No Man's Lane, Risley, at about 8am and had cycled to Draycott House Farm where he helped out.
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His mother, Sandra Todd, said Ewan had not seemed upset or depressed and had not suffered with any mental health issues throughout his life.
She said: "It was a route he knew very well. He had cycled it in all conditions, rain, snow and hail. He had been cycling from a young age."
Mr Goulding, 43, said he had been driving down the road and had spotted Ewan on the opposite side of it, heading in the opposite direction on his bike.
He said he was travelling from home to work in his Skoda Octavia and was not in a hurry on that day.
"All I can remember at that time was that in a split second the cyclist had moved into the middle of the road. He just went straight out in front of me," said Mr Goulding.
He said the collision had taken place near the entrance to Draycott House Farm, which is near the crest of a slope.
He said: "I only saw him when I reached the brow of the hill. When I first saw him there was nothing unusual about it. Then he moved out into the middle of the road."
After the collision, Mr Goulding stopped his car and phoned 999. Emergency services arrived and Ewan was taken by air ambulance to Derby Royal Hospital but died from his injuries. The cause of his death was given as traumatic skull fracture and cerebral disruption.
PC Nigel Varney, a forensic collision investigator with Derbyshire police, told the court that Mr Goulding's speed at the point of impact had been estimated at 37mph. The road had a speed limit of 60mph.
He said: "The cyclist should have seen the Skoda unless that car was travelling at a high speed, which, from the evidence and conclusions we have drawn, has been negated. It remains a mystery as to why Ewan did not see the Skoda."
A witness to the accident, Rhoda Whaley, had been parked in the driveway to Draycott House Farm.
She said the accident had happened very quickly and there had been no lead-up or sense of anticipation.
She said: "It seemed safe the way Mr Goulding was driving."
Ms Pinder said that although Ewan was not wearing a safety helmet at the time, it would not have made a real difference even if he had.
She said: "Taking into account the reduced visibility and the probable speed of 37mph and the average reaction times, and also the speed things happened at, it is clear that Mr Goulding was not at fault and did what he could in he moments prior to the impact.
"Ewan would have been entirely unaware and would not have suffered in the accident."