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Driver Malcolm Moaby not to blame for crash which killed Chatham man Leon Edwards in Gravesend Road, Shorne

A driver could not have avoided hitting a cyclist in a fatal accident, an inquest has found.

Leon Edwards, 43, from Bryant Street, Chatham, was killed in a crash in Gravesend Road, Shorne, on December 12 last year when he was hit by a silver Citroen Picasso.

An inquest into his death heard evidence from three witnesses including driver Malcolm Moaby, who had been travelling along Gravesend Road when the cyclist rode out of Forge Lane, which forms a crossroad with the main road.

Emma Hankinson with Leon
Emma Hankinson with Leon

It was just after 9pm, dark and the road surface was wet.

Although Mr Moaby had his lights on, the first time he was aware of the cyclist was when he heard a thud against his car.

Mr Edwards suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene despite the best efforts of medics.

The inquest at Gravesend's Old Town Hall heard an investigation looking at possible causes of the accident found Mr Edwards’ bicycle did not have lights and a brake block was missing, which could not be found anywhere near the crash site.

“It was possible that it was missing prior to the collision,” said PC David Burley who investigated the crash.

“It might have been that Mr Edwards had gained speed on approach to the junction and not been able to stop.”

Leon Edwards was killed in a crash
Leon Edwards was killed in a crash

The fact that Forge Lane runs down an incline before meeting the main road added further weight to that theory.

Further investigation showed Mr Moaby was travelling in his lane, within the speed limit, and another driver, Michael Hague, described how he had narrowly missed Mr Edwards when the cyclist “shot out” from Forge Lane.

Coroner Roger Hatch put it to the officer that: “Mr Moaby had no chance at all of seeing the cyclist and taking evasive action.”

“That’s correct,” said PC Burley.

Summing up, the coroner said: “It’s clear from the evidence I’ve heard that Mr Moaby had no opportunity of taking evasive action whatsoever.”

He recorded the cause of death as “a road traffic collision.

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Chef Leon Edwards was described as having a ‘heart of gold’ in the aftermath of his death.

Emma Hankinson told of her heartbreak over the loss of her partner in the accident before Christmas, describing him as “the love of my life.”

“He was popular. He’d talk to anyone and he’d always do things for other people. He made me laugh even when I was annoyed" - Emma Hankinson

“He was so kind and caring,” she said. “He would always help anyone out.”

She said Mr Edwards, well-known as a DJ in pubs in Gillingham and Rainham, was only riding a bicycle at the time because his motorbike had broken down.

She added: “He was popular. He’d talk to anyone and he’d always do things for other people. He made me laugh even when I was annoyed. He always made me smile too.

“He loved his music and having a laugh. He always said life was too short so make the most of it. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about him since.”

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