A radiologist who worked at Watford General Hospital died during a motorcycle tour of Italy, an inquest heard today.

James Cashman from Sarratt died on September 15, 2012, in Passo Del Boco, Italy. An inquest into his death was held in Hatfield today.

Originally from New Zealand, Dr Cashman was employed by Watford General Hospital for 19 years, and was killed when his vehicle collided with a van on Saturday, September 15.

Motorcycle trekking and restoration were his hobbies outside of work, and he was taking part in an annual ten day tour with six other friends when the incident happened.

The trip started in Nice, and would have taken the riders through Italy, Switzerland and Austria.
Police were called to a collision between a Renault Kangoo and a Honda VFR on the SP26 road, in Passo Del Boco, Italy.

Mr Cashman was given emergency first aid in an attempt to resuscitate him, but after 40 minutes medics stated there was no way he could be revived.

The driver of the van Andrea Granelli was unharmed, but his partner was injured on her shoulder and chest.

Mr Granelli said he saw a motorcycle overtaking a vehicle, on his side of the road, before violently hitting the front of his van.

The motorcycle was completely destroyed and the van was crushed on the right hand side, and the windscreen broken.

Mr Cashman’s friend Robert Dennis said he was riding behind James when he saw him trying to overtake a car and hadn’t seen the van coming towards him.

Mr Dennis described it as an “error of judgment” to try and overtake the van.

A statement from the hospital described Dr Cashman as “well known with a unique sense of humour which he used to put patients at ease.”

He will be missed greatly not only by his friends, colleagues and patients but throughout the hospital.

Nick Tessier, superintendent CT radiographer and a close friend, said: “Jim was very well respected and will be missed.

“He was a passionate motor cyclist and a highly skilled mechanic who enjoyed restoring post-classic motor bikes and was looking forward to his annual European tour.

Coroner Edward Thomas recorded Mr Cashman died an accidental death.