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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

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Keen cyclist, 65, died after ‘small mishap’

A MILLOM cyclist died in circumstances that in “99 times out of 100” would have left him with scrapes and bruises.

Thomas Norman Barrow, 65, died whilst cycling near Tarn Hows in Coniston on the evening of December 14 last year.

At an inquest at Barrow Town Hall on Wednesday last week, coroner Ian Smith issued a ruling of accidental death. He said: “It was a small mishap which can happen to anybody and that, in 99 times out of a hundred, would have led to a few scrapes and bruises, but in this case led to something much more serious.”

The inquest heard from pathologist Dr Marek Witkowski, who said Mr Barrow, of Hallthwaites near Millom, had died from inhaling the contents of his stomach.

Peter Stewart Turner said he saw Mr Barrow, who was his friend for 25 years, go over the handlebars of his bike.

He said: “His bike was between his legs, slightly over to one side, and he was face down exactly where he landed.

“He didn’t move at all. We moved the bike, first thing, from where he landed. We were just talking to him, expecting him to get back up but got no reaction at all.”

Mr Turner said the group had been travelling between three and four miles an hour.

The other man in the party, John Leece, said he made his way to a nearby cottage to get help as there was no mobile phone reception in the area.

He said although it was dark, they went out several times in the weeks before and had lights on their bikes.

Mr Leece said he alerted the emergency services from the cottage, but initially had problems getting the call handler to identify where the accident had happened.

He travelled back to the scene of the accident where Mr Barrow was still not moving, and said the emergency services arrived around an hour after the accident.

Mr Smith said the amount of time it took for the paramedic to arrive had not been a factor in Mr Barrow’s death, and recorded a verdict of accidental death.

A statement issued by the Barrow family after the inquest said: “He loved to ride his bikes and eventually died doing what he loved.

“He will be sorely missed by his family.”


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