Inquest hears how debris in road caused accident which led to cyclist's untimely death

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Web content editor

A Scotsman who lived locally during the week while working in Rickmansworth, died after his bicycle hit a rock, causing him to be thrown onto the road.

An inquest into the death of Scott Crawford, who was found in Dawes Lane, Sarratt, on August 3, heard today how he had been cycling home in the evening when he had the accident.

The 50-year-old lived in Westwood Drive, Little Chalfont, while he worked as a quality assurance manager during the week, but his home was in East Kilbride, Scotland.

A post mortem showed not only bruising, but skull and rib fractures which led to internal injuries to brain, right lung, liver and spleen.

Speaking at the inquest in Hatfield, John Spears, a forensic collision investigator, said: "The bike was in very good condition and Mr Crawford was wearing a helmet.

"The bike had struck an item at speed, causing the tyre to be crushed and two punctures. This caused rapid deflation and the rider to be thrown off.

"The road was very small and windy, and overhanging foliage caused a lot of darkness and there were large pieces of flint and rock on the road surface."

Paramedics who were called to the lane attempted resuscitation but realised there was nothing they could do.

PC Robert Hauxwell, from the serious collision unit, said: "No one saw Mr Crawford come off his bike. He was found by a man who lives near the lane, who saw a red flashing bicycle light and then realised there was a man lying on his back.

"Another neighbour said the water board had been working nearby the night before. The workmen had gone but there were stones all over the walkway.

"The people I spoke to all felt the stones were a factor and they felt guilty for not moving them away. They were most likely from a contractor’s lorry."

In August, the Watford Observer reported how Mr Crawford had been due to marry his partner of nine years, Iona, the following month.

He travelled home most weekends, but the weekend of his death he stayed, in order to visit the Olympic Games in London. Iona was also busy, taking part in her hen night celebrations.

Coroner Edward Thomas recorded accidental death and said: "Some lorries have to use these narrow roads and their tyres rub up against the bank leaving debris behind.

"He hit his head very hard and died almost instantaneously. He was very well respected at work, was very happy and had lovely kids. It’s awful and very, very sad.

A tribute from his family described him as a devoted dad to his three children, Ashleigh, 23, Fraser, 21, and Adele, 14.

It read: "All Scott’s family and friends have been left devastated by his untimely death. He was a beloved son to Andrina and Ronnie.

"He will also be missed by his sister, Valerie, and was a loving uncle to Cara and Cai."

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