Blood clot killed lorry-crash cyclist
A CYCLIST died from a blood clot three weeks after being involved in a collision with a five-tonne lorry, an inquest has been told.
Martin Tilley, 50, from Helland Gardens in Penryn, Cornwall, died at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske, Truro, on April 22 after collapsing in a car park.
Earlier that month, Mr Tilley had been taken to hospital with a severe laceration to his left leg after the collision with a lorry as it was pulling out of a junction on to Bickland Water Road, Falmouth, during the morning rush-hour.
Mr Tilley, an international sales manager, was discharged from hospital a few days after the incident, on April 1, but complained of feeling faint and collapsed when attending a scheduled appointment on April 22. He had a heart rate which initially peaked at 125 beats per minute before dropping to 40.
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Yesterday's inquest in Truro was told that Mr Tilley had twice suffered from deep vein thrombosis, caused by travelling long distances.
However, after taking evidence from medical experts questioned during the hearing, coroner Barrie van den Berg recorded a verdict of accidental death.
The court was told that Mr Tilley was riding his bicycle in Bickland Water Road at about 8.25am.
Witnesses reported seeing the cyclist wearing a high-visibility vest and helmet, and was cycling "aggressively" down the hill towards the junction for Falmouth Town Football Club car park.
Driver Gareth Davies, who was travelling along the main road, said he flashed his lights to allow the lorry, driven by Andrew Richards, to pull out of the car park.
However, Mr Davies said he did not think that Mr Richards saw the cyclist.
Postman Aaron Wilce, who was driving behind Mr Tilley, said he saw the lorry begin to pull out of the junction and thought he would allow the cyclist to pass before completing the manoeuvre.
Mr Wilce added: "I couldn't believe the lorry driver had not seen the cyclist."
Speaking at the inquest, Mr Richards said he saw Mr Tilley "pedalling fast" before appearing to mouth a swearword and apply the brakes. When asked by the coroner to clarify further details, Mr Richards declined to comment.
The hearing was told that Mr Tilley, who police believed would have been visible to the lorry driver between 13 and 19 seconds before the collision, went over the bike's handlebars before colliding with the side of the vehicle.
Forensic pathologist Dr Russell Delaney said the collision and injuries sustained "contributed to the death, on the balance of probability", after a blood clot in Mr Tilley's leg migrated to the chest cavity.
Mr van den Berg said it was not for him to point to blame for accidents. But he added: "It is clear that this was a bad accident indeed. I am satisfied that the accident was a cause and substantial factor in what happened to Mr Tilley, and that he died from that clot."
Mr Tilley's family described him as "a wonderful, wonderful husband and father".