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Death of cyclist Graham Hughes, who crashed into a parked lorry was a "tragic" accident, inquest rules

Cyclist Graham Hughes
Cyclist Graham Hughes

A cyclist died when he crashed into the back of a parked lorry, an inquest heard.

Graham Hughes, 56, of Allington Drive, Strood, died on the A228 Snodland bypass as he was cycling home from work.

An inquest heard how the warehouse operator, pictured, was travelling at around 25mph, with his head down and music playing when he collided with the lorry on September 15 last year.

Witness Camille Thomas said: “He was riding like he would have been in a race – close to the handlebars and his head was down. He was travelling fast. He did not look up or around him.

“When he got a few metres from the truck I realised he was not going to stop or cycle round.”

People rushed to help Mr Hughes, including two passing police officers who administered CPR, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pathologist David Rouse told the inquest the cause of death was something he had only ever come across once before.

He said: “Sudden death can be caused by an impact to the head when forces go through the brain stem causing the heart to stop instantly.

"You are just dealing with a very unlucky impact point.”

Coroner Patricia Harding recorded the death as an accident caused by cardiovascular collapse due to head impact.

She added: “This is a very unusual case and clearly a tragic one.

“It seems he was a fit and healthy man who must have enjoyed cycling and took it very seriously, but unhappily it caused his death.”

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