Ben Madden, a 15-year-old cyclist from Brough, East Yorkshire,
was killed after he collided with a deer during a ride in July, an inquest into his death heard on Monday.

Madden was cycling along the road at Elloughton Dale on Tuesday, July 26 2011 with three other cyclists when a deer jumped over the fence at the edge of the road and ran into his path, reports the Hull Daily Mail.

According to a witness, Madden was travelling at around 40mph and had no time to react, falling heavily on his head. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the incident.

Madden was taken to hospital, where he remained in a coma at Hull Royal Infirmary until his death four days later on July 31.

Madden was an experienced cyclist who regularly took part in rides up to 100 miles in length. The inquest heard that his Cube Litening road bike was in good order.

A statement from his father Darren was read out at the inquest: “He had recently excelled at cycling,” said Mr Madden. “He was confident as a rider and as a person.”

“He would normally wear a helmet, but I’m not sure if it would have made a difference on this occasion. He was doing what he loved and no one could have predicted the circumstances surrounding his death.” 

Coroner Rosemary Baxter returned a verdict of accidental death. “The deer jumped the fence right into Ben’s path and he had no time to react and hit the back end of the animal,” said Baxter. “There was no opportunity to take evasive action and his head impacted on the road surface.”

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  • Ian

    As a Paramedic I’ve seen serious head injuries many times from cyclists riding without helmets. As in this case, all it takes is for you to strike your head on the hard road surface and the damage is done. The article says Ben was doing 40mph (as I’m sure we’ve all done quite regularly), If he was a year older and riding a 50cc moped, restricted to 30mph, a helmet would be compulsory (and a much stronger one at that). The laws of physics suggest that any head protection would dissipate the impact better than no helmet at all.
    I don’t intend this comment to be in anyway disrespectful to Ben or his family, we all make our own choices in life and sometimes we pay for that in the most terrible, and in this case unlucky, way. Their pain at this time must be unimaginable.
    Let some good come from these cases and learn from them. If one more person is saved from death or (?worse) permanent disability then some good will have come from tragedy. Lets do ourselves a favour before the government do it for us.

  • arronski

    Sorry to family terrible bad luck, no helmet again, if they made it law like Australia i would be happy !