Cyclist dies after crashing into road sign at 40mph, inquest hears

Jason Catley, 44, died after colliding with a road sign at 40mph at the end of the Curve of Doom race in Leicestershire last June

A cyclist died after colliding with a road sign at 40mph at the end of an amateur road race, an inquest heard.

Jason Catley, 44, died after a high-speed crash in the final metres of the Curve of Doom around Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire, on June 20 last year.

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Mr Catley, of Screveton, Nottinghamshire, crashed into a step ladder used by the race director to film the finish line, then struck a road sign after he touched wheels with another rider and appeared to lose control of his bike, witnesses told Rutland and North Leicestershire Coroner’s Court in Loughborough.

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Lawrence Symes was standing behind the road sign when the incident occurred, having ridden another race at the location earlier in the day.

Mr Symes told the court that he was looking for another cyclist in the bunch when he noticed Mr Catley has veered away from the pack.

“He was approaching quickly and was coming towards me and my first thought was that there is going to be a crash,” Mr Symes said.

“It was clear he was coming towards me at pace. He was trying to veer back and get back on to the road to avoid the objects, which unfortunately did not happen. He went through the step ladder. He just went through it with ease.

“It felt like slow motion, really. (It was like) he could feel he knew he was going to collide with it (the sign).”

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Mr Symes’ witness statement, which was read out at the inquest, said that when Mr Catley hit the ladder and the sign it was “like he had hit a brick wall”.

Dr Christopher Johnson, who worked as a specialist registrar in the East Midlands pathology unit, told the inquest Mr Catley would have suffered “immediate unconsciousness and rapid cardiac arrest” after the collision.

Susan Rodway QC, representing the family of Mr Catley, suggested he was travelling at around 40mph at the time of the crash and asked Dr Johnson if his injuries were “consistent” with someone travelling at that speed, to which he agreed.

The inquest also heard from race organiser Paul Hamilton, who said he did not see the sign as a potential hazard, saying that there were two parts of the course that carried a higher risk of an accident.

The inquest continues on Thursday.