RECORD OF INVESTIGATION INTO DEATH (WITHOUT INQUEST)
Coroners Act 1995
Coroners Rules 2006
I, Reg Marron, Coroner, having investigated the death of
Andrew Bruce Erskine BINGLEY
WITHOUT HOLDING AN INQUEST
I have decided not to hold an inquest into the death because the investigation into the death has sufficiently disclosed the identity of the deceased person, the time, place, cause of death, relevant circumstances concerning the death and the particulars needed to register the death under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act.
Having conducted an investigation I do not consider that the holding of an inquest would elicit any information further to that disclosed by the enquiries conducted.
(a) Andrew Bruce Erskine Bingley died on or about 16 June 2011 at Bass Highway Prospect;
(b) Mr Bingley was born in Launceston on 9 July 1965 and was aged 45 years;
(c) He was married at the time of his death;
(d) Mr Bingley died after being struck by a motor vehicle;
(e) The cause of his death was major trauma consistent with a cycling crash.
Circumstances Surrounding the Death:
Mr Bingley was a keen cyclist and often took part in cycle races in the "veteran’s class". He was employed by Australia Post at the Delivery Centre in Launceston.
At about 4.30pm on 16 June 2011 Mr Stephen Ferris was travelling west on the Bass Highway near Westbury in a silver Mazda hatch. The conditions were fine and the visibility was good. The road was a dual carriageway. Mr Ferris was not speeding and had not consumed any alcohol.
Mr Bingley was riding a bicycle approximately 500mm from the edge of the road, also travelling west. Mr Keith Maher was travelling behind Mr Ferris in a Acco Ivecco truck. Mr Maher saw Mr Bingley for approximately 400 to 500 metres. Mr Maher states that when Mr Ferris' vehicle approached Mr Bingley he assumed it would move over to the right. However, it didn’t, maintaining a straight line. Mr Maher stated that Mr Bingley maintained a straight line and did not veer into the path of Mr Ferris’ vehicle.
Mr Ferris' vehicle then struck Mr Bingley. Mr Bingley died almost instantaneously. Mr Ferris was later interviewed by Police and stated that he did not see Mr Bingley and could only conclude he must have been looking further up the road.
At the time of the crash Mr Bingley was wearing black ‘clip-in’ cycling shoes, dark grey lycra cycling pants, a bright yellow long sleeve cycling jersey, black sleeveless vest over his jersey and an approved bicycle helmet. Mr Bingley was riding a red Canondale bicycle. It was a lightweight road bike suitable for use on sealed surfaces.
Mr Bingley’s bicycle and Mr Ferris’ motor vehicle were examined by Transport Inspectors. No defect was identified in either the bicycle or vehicle that could have contributed to the crash.
Mr Ferris later appeared in the Launceston Court of Petty Sessions on 10 January 2012 in respect to one (1) count of causing the death of another by negligent driving and one (1) drive without due care and attention. He pleaded guilty to both counts and was sentenced globally to 4 months imprisonment. The period of imprisonment was wholly suspended for 2 years on the condition that he be of good behaviour and not commit another offence punishable by imprisonment during the period of the order is in force. He was disqualified from driving for 12 months. A conviction was recorded on each of the two counts.
Comments & Recommendations:
Mr Bingley was a cyclist who was travelling on the Bass Highway when he was struck by a vehicle being driven by Mr Ferris. Mr Bingley died almost instantaneously as a result of the collision. Mr Bingley was wearing a bright yellow long sleeve cycling jersey.
I am satisfied, based on the evidence before me that Mr Ferris failed to see Mr Bingley due to inattention. I note that he later pleaded guilty to two offences relating to his driving and was sentenced to a suspended term of imprisonment and disqualified from driving.
The circumstances of Mr Bingley’s death again remind us of the need to remain vigilant and attentive when driving and the tragic consequences that can occur when this does not occur.
Before I conclude this matter, I wish to convey my sincere condolences to the family of the deceased.
This matter is now concluded
DATED: 22 June 2012 at Launceston in the state of Tasmania