Partner of British endurance rider Mike Hall highlights ‘police failures’ after his death
Mr Hall died almost instantly when hit by a car during a long-distance race
The partner of British endurance rider Mike Hall has highlighted the failings of police after his death.
Mr Hall died almost instantly when hit by a car in Australia during the Indian Pacific Wheel Race in March, 2017.
During the inquest into the 35-year-old’s death, which concluded last week, the coroner ruled that his death was avoidable and said police had not kept evidence.
Mr Hall’s partner, Anna Haslock, has shared her thoughts in a statement released after the inquest.
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She said: “While I am relieved in many ways to read the coroner’s findings, I am also disappointed and frustrated.
“I welcome her conclusion that Mike’s death was avoidable and her recognition of how keenly this has affected us, the individuals and community that loved him.
“Unsurprisingly, my confidence in the Australian Federal Police is non-existent.
“I would suggest their failures in this case have seriously damaged public confidence in their investigative procedures and ability to properly protect the public.”
A police spokesperson has said they would review the coroner’s findings, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Mr Hall from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, had been riding in second place in the coast-to-coast race, which covers 5,500km from Fremantle to Sydney, when he was hit by a car travelling at 100km/h, at around 6am on March 31, 2017.
The 19-year-old driver, Shegu Bobb, was making his way to work and said he did not see Hall.
The coroner said Hall had been wearing dark clothing. In previous hearings, it was stated that his rear light would have been hard to see – however Dr Boss commented that evidence was limited.
Coroner Bernadette Boss said police did not retain all of Hall’s clothing and equipment, and that investigations were compromised to some degree by the “loss of significant evidence.”
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No charges have brought against the driver, who had a provisional license.
Ms Haslock said: “Mike was an experienced cyclist and race organiser who specialised in self-supported ultra-distance cycling races however, he was more than just an exceptional cyclist, he was a role model to thousands who admired him and his many achievements.
“He took cycling safety seriously and showed keen awareness and consideration of risk.”
The coroner said that Mr Hall’s death should act as a catalyst for the introduction of better cycling safety laws in Australia.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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