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Coroner finds cyclist died after forks separated

Coroner finds bike forks separated on bike before crash which killed Cycle Club Sudbury rider, Jonathan Weatherley

Posted on 01 June 2016

A Coroner has given a narrative verdict in the death of a cyclist who was found fatally injured in a road in Essex after his carbon forks came apart whilst he was riding his bike.

The Coroner found that the bonding separated on the forks fitted to Jonathan Weatherley’s bike, a Kinesis Racelight TK2. The frame and forks were supplied to the UK market by Upgrade Bikes Limited, the Racelight T carbon forks have since been made the subject of a recall notice.

Mr Weatherley (43), a member of Cycle Club Sudbury, was found by a passerby on Lorkin's Lane, Twinstead on 23 August 2015 after suffering multiple injuries following the incident. The emergency services were then called to the scene. However, attempts to save him were unsuccessful.

In her narrative verdict, delivered today at Chelmsford Coroner’s Court, the Senior Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said:

“Jonathan Weatherley probably applied braking through his front brakes for some unknown reason, causing the bonding between the carbon fibre blades and aluminium crown to fail as a result of the fact that the bonding material had not adequately bonded these two components together. Jonathan died as a result of his injuries sustained in this accident.”

Law firm Leigh Day confirmed that they are taking legal action against Upgrade Bikes Limited who supplied the allegedly defective forks alongside a number of other companies thought to be involved in the supply chain.

Thomas Jervis from the Consumer Law and Product Safety group at Leigh Day said: “We are now investigating the manufacture and supply of these forks to find out how this product came to be on the market and whether any other cyclists may still be at risk.”

Jonathan’s family gave this statement: “Jonathan was a much loved cherished son and brother. He was a qualified architect who specialised in period and listed properties, however Jonathan’s greatest passion was his love of cycling.

“He was an experienced cyclist and respected member of the Cycle Club Sudbury. In 2014, he broke most of their longstanding time trial records and was their Rider of the Year.

“He is very dearly missed by all and we hope that we can put something back into cycling to remember him. We are thankful to the Coroner and support her narrative verdict. We hope that this does not happen to another family as it has been devastating”.

Earlier this year Jonathan’s parents, Angela and Stephen Weatherley, visited Essex Air Ambulance at Earls Colne to present a cheque to the charity for £1,544 from donations made in memory of their son in appreciation of the efforts of the East of England Ambulance Service and Essex Air Ambulance Aircrew who tried to save Jonathan.