Coroner issues safety plea after cyclist’s death
PUBLISHED: 10:34 21 December 2012 | UPDATED: 11:54 21 December 2012
Cyclists have been urged by a coroner to do everything they can to stay safe after a Norwich man was killed as he rode home from a party.
Trelawney Burgoyne, 39, did not have lights on his cycle and was not wearing a helmet or high visibility clothing.
He was also the equivalent of three times over the drink drive limit, an inquest heard.
Mr Burgoyne, an IT consultant from Paper Mill Yard, in the centre of Norwich, died after he was struck by two cars on the B1150 at Beeston St Andrew at about 9.45pm on June 5. He was cycling from Spixworth to Norwich after going to a Jubilee party.
At the end of yesterday’s inquest, Norfolk Coroner William Armstrong urged cyclists to think about their own safety before setting out.
He said: “There are two messages - the first one is the importance of having lights on your bicycle when riding at night. People have to be able to see ahead and people have to be able to see the bicycle. It’s important that cyclists wear reflective clothing so they can be seen.
“The second issue is alcohol. It’s unwise for people to ride bicycles when they have had a substantial amount of alcohol.”
Mr Burgoyne’s friend Emma Wiskin told the inquest that they left the Jubilee party at around 9.45pm.
She added: “We were both on our bikes. I cut across a pedestrian area and I thought Trelawney would catch me up soon.
“Once I was on Crostwick Lane I realised he wasn’t there. When I got to The Paddocks I tried to call his mobile and I left a voicemail and thought I would go home.
“He was drinking red wine, but he appeared fine.”
But Mr Burgoyne did not manage to find Ms Wiskin and instead he cycled in the opposite direction to Beeston St Andrew.
David Johnson was driving from his girlfriend’s house in Old Catton back to his home in North Walsham when he saw Mr Burgoyne sitting on his bike in the road.
“I came round the corner and saw him sitting on his bike on my side of the road, facing the hedge,” he said. “As soon as I saw him I slammed my brakes on, but I wasn’t very far from him. I collided with him. There was no way I could have stopped in time. I am so sorry.”
Minutes later Bernard Lake drove along the same stretch of road.
“I saw hazard lights on a car in front and I felt a thump, and I stopped my car,” he said. “David ran up to my car and said ‘can you call an ambulance, I have hit a cyclist’ and then I realised I had hit him [Mr Burgoyne], too.”
Mr Armstrong recorded a verdict of death as a result of a road traffic collision.
He said: “It is very clear from the evidence that he lost consciousness instantly and he wouldn’t have suffered.
“It’s important for me to make it clear that there was no way in which anybody else was to blame for what happened.
“I would like to express my deepest sympathy to Trelawney’s sister, Fleur. Trelawney was very talented in the field of computing and business management.”
Mr Burgoyne’s sister, Fleur Hoole, who lives near Edinburgh, paid tribute to her “friendly and charming” younger brother.
He was born in South Africa and after working abroad in Australia and Geneva for several years, he moved to the UK in the late 1990s.
“He had a great sense of humour and was very loyal to people,” Mrs Hoole said. “He would always go out of his way to help others. He worked as an IT consultant for Hewlett Packard and he enjoyed paragliding and cycling.”
Mrs Hoole said she was touched by the number of friends her brother had and thanked them for their support.
“People all over the world held their own events on the day of his funeral to remember him.
“Please don’t let anyone else make the same mistake. So many people don’t wear helmets and think that they can get away with it.”