2:18pm Wednesday 8th August 2012
By Heloise Wood
AN INQUEST into the death of a cyclist killed after hitting a car door, has recorded a verdict of accidental death.
James Darby, 44, was cycling along Upper Elmers End Road in Beckenham when he crashed into a stationary blue Fiat Panda.
The incident happened on January 7 at around 6.10pm but Mr Darby, a retail manager, died a few weeks later in Kings College Hospital.
South London Coroners Court heard from driving instructor, Ian Brett, who witnessed the accident "in his peripheral vision".
Mr Brett said he saw a cyclist coming down the road "at around 25 or 30 miles an hour".
He added: "I saw something travelling through the air which looked like a star jump.
"I knew something was wrong so I parked my car and went to find out."
Mr Darby, of Aviemore Way Road, Beckenham, collided with the door of the car as owner, Lena Pennacchia, opened it to get out of the vehicle.
Kevin Holloway from the Catford Traffic Collision Investigation Unit said the damage from the bike indicated Mr Darby saw the door open and swerved to avoid it but had caught it with his left leg.
Mrs Pennacchia said that after getting out of the car, she heard a bang and then saw the cyclist on the ground.
Dr Palmer said Mr Darby died from severe head injuries and added: "I am so sorry for Mr Darby's family that you lost him in this tragic way."
Sixty-two cyclists have died this year from accidents on Britain's roads.
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