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Driver Karen Trice powerless to prevent death of cyclist Rebecca Reed in Mersham

By Sam Lennon

A young cyclist died after veering into the path of an oncoming car, an inquest heard.

Rebecca Reed, 26, of Nettlefield, Kennington, was struck by a Ford Galaxy driven by Karen Trice on the morning of September 15 last year.

Crash investigator PC Andrew Waghorn said Ms Trice had been travelling towards Ashford on the A20 at Mersham as Miss Reed was coming in the opposite direction. Miss Reed was turning right into The Street.

Rebecca Reed, who died in a bike crash
Rebecca Reed, who died in a bike crash

PC Waghorn said Miss Trice had been travelling at 44mph at the time of impact in a 60mph zone in a “careful and considerate manner” and had no reason to believe Miss Reed would cross her path.

There was no physical reason why Miss Reed would fail to see the approaching Galaxy, PC Waghorn added.

Miss Trice told the court: “I looked at her and she was moving. I then shouted ‘Oh no!’. I braked and tried to turn away from her.”

But Miss Trice was unable to avoid the bicycle and Miss Reed struck the front of her car.

Pathologist Dr George Vittay revealed Miss Reed had five medicinal drugs in her system, mainly anti-depressants or painkillers, mostly taken in therapeutic levels.

But one drug, diazepam, was taken at a slightly higher level than therapeutic.

Junction where the A20 meets The Street, Mersha, where the crash happened
Junction where the A20 meets The Street, Mersha, where the crash happened

Dr Vittay believed the presence of the pills may have affected Miss Reed’s judgement.

The post mortem examination found Miss Reed had not been drinking alcohol.

PC Waghorn said police had been called to the accident at 7.37am.

He said the weather had been fine and dry that day and there were no defects on the road that may have contributed to the accident.

Coroner Rachel Redman gave a verdict of accidental death after Miss Reed died from severe injuries.

Tributes were laid at the crash site
Tributes were laid at the crash site

She said the accident was unavoidable and told Miss Trice: “It may be a small comfort to you that there was nothing you could have done.”

"Becky’s tragic death will leave a large hole in the lives of everyone who knew her" - Rebecca's family

Rebecca Reed, known as Becky, was a care home worker and was riding to work when tragedy struck.

Just after her death, her family described her as a loving and caring daughter, sister, aunty and friend who was devoted to helping those less fortunate than herself.

They said in a statement: “As a youngster she had worked at the Rare Breeds Centre in Woodchurch and then later went on during her gap year to help children suffering from Aids in African townships. She also helped tsunami victims in Sri Lanka.

“She had dreams of becoming a qualified nurse. Becky’s tragic death will leave a large hole in the lives of everyone who knew her.”

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