Alcohol may have contributed to crash in which cyclist died, inquest hears

Cyclist Kenneth Cobourne was killed in a crash on the B1077 between Diss and Shelfanger. Picture: Si

Cyclist Kenneth Cobourne was killed in a crash on the B1077 between Diss and Shelfanger. Picture: Simon Parkin - Credit: Simon Parkin

Alcohol may have impaired the ability of a cyclist who died in a crash to ride safely, an inquest has heard.

Cyclist Kenneth Cobourne was killed in a crash on the B1077 between Diss and Shelfanger. Picture: Si

Cyclist Kenneth Cobourne was killed in a crash on the B1077 between Diss and Shelfanger. Picture: Simon Parkin - Credit: Simon Parkin

Kenneth Cobourne was cycling on the B1077 Shelfanger Road, near Diss, on September 13 last year, when he was involved in a collision with a Vauxhall van travelling in the opposite direction at 8.40pm.

The 46-year-old, who lived in Banham and worked in Stowmarket as a refuse collector, suffered multiple traumatic injuries, including to his spine and leg, and went into cardiac arrest.

Despite the best efforts of emergency services, Mr Cobourne could not be resuscitated and died at the scene around an hour later.

At an inquest into his death on Wednesday (June 24), Norfolk Coroner’s Court heard Mr Cobourne had lost his driving licence and would stay with an ex-partner, Lyn Woods, during the week to be closer to work.

In a statement read aloud, Ms Woods said on the day of his death she had told Mr Cobourne not to stay.

Emma Stevens, landlady at The Shepherd and Dog in Stowmarket, added in a statement that he had drunk two pints at the pub on September 13, but was asked to leave at 6.30pm.


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Mr Cobourne’s movements between his departure and the collision are unknown.

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Floral tributes to cyclist Kenneth Cobourne, who was killed in a crash on the B1077 between Diss and

Floral tributes to cyclist Kenneth Cobourne, who was killed in a crash on the B1077 between Diss and Shelfanger. Picture: Simon Parkin - Credit: Simon Parkin

Collision investigator PC Jamie Hutchin found neither the van nor bike had any faults which may have contributed to the crash, while it could not be concluded whether either vehicle had crossed into the opposite lane.

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Although Mr Cobourne had been wearing a head torch, his bike was not fitted with front reflectors. However, the investigator was “unable to say” whether Mr Cobourne was visible to Mr Stratton.

But PC Hutchin said the cyclist’s blood alcohol level of 257 milligrams - more than three times the legal limit for driving - would have likely “reduced his reactions and ability to cycle safely”.

In a statement given at the roadside, Neal Stratton, the driver of the Vauxhall, described hearing a “bang” and thinking he had hit a deer.

It was only after stopping and reversing that he saw Mr Cobourne’s body at the side of the road.

Senior coroner for Norfolk, Jacqueline Lake, concluded Mr Cobourne died as a result of a road traffic collision.

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