Dublin cyclist's death 'unexplained' as inquest found no reason for accident

Published date29 June 2022
Publication titleDublinLive (Ireland)
David Steele, 45, from Swords, was killed in the collision in September 2020. The inquest discounted weather or road conditions as being factors in his death with the coroner saying the incident was "absolutely out of the blue"

A sitting of Dublin District Coroner's Court heard several members of the Portmarnock Triathlon Club describe the moments which led up to the tragic death of their friend. Paul Williams said the group of around eight cyclists were on a 90-kilometre training run which had left Portmarnock at around 7.40am.

Mr Williams said they were returning towards Swords and had moved into single file on the R108 when Mr Steele, who was directly in front of him in about fifth place in the group, made a sudden move to the right towards the other side of the road. While there was a strong wind at the time, Mr Williams said the wind would have been blowing in the opposite direction to the one turned by Mr Steele.

Mr Williams said he assumed that his friend had swerved to avoid something on the road, although he had not seen anything. He believed Mr Steele's bicycle wobbled as he tried to correct its path but could not prevent the collision. He described having to look away as he witnessed the deceased being thrown in the air by the impact with a black jeep. Mr Williams said he did not believe the driver of the Volkswagen Touareg which struck Mr Steele was travelling at great speed.

Questioned by the coroner, Clare Keane, Mr William said the deceased was "a safe, steady cyclist and not a risk-taker."

Another eyewitness, David Pedro, who was at the back of the group of cyclists, said he saw Mr Steele take a 90º turn to the right but could see no reason why he had done so. The driver of the jeep, David Leonard, said he had seen the group of cyclists coming towards him and mentally praised them for keeping so close to the verge on their own side of the road.

Mr Leonard said he saw one cyclist move to the left but then "like a bullet left the pack" in the other direction and crossed to his side of the road, striking his windscreen. The motorist said he had already begun to slow down as he anticipated that the cyclist would bring down other members of the group and there would be a pile-up on the road.

The inquest heard evidence of efforts to resuscitate Mr Steele but he was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision. A forensic scene investigator, Garda Lynn Connaughton, said there was nothing found on the road...

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