herald

Saturday 19 January 2019

Cycling pensioner was killed by car driven by his son

A FAMILY of a pensioner who died in a "tragic and freak accident" after his bicycle was struck by a car driven by his son, has told how there was no time to avoid a collision.

Emmanuel 'Manzor' Thacka-berry (70) of Nurney Bog, Kildoon, Co Kildare died at Tallaght Hospital on July 7, 2010, more than two weeks after he was struck by a car driven by his son Micheal Thackaberry at Walterstown Crossroads, Nurney, Co Kildare.

Coroner Dr Kieran Geraghty described the incident as a "particularly tragic and freak accident" which had been "an awful experience for the Thackaberry family."

The dead man's daughter, Rose Thackaberry, who was a passenger in the car, had spotted her father and was about to wave at him when the tragedy occurred on June 20, 2010.

"It looked like he was going to stop . . . I could just see the car hit the back wheel of his bike and then I saw his face on the windscreen," said Ms Thackaberry whose daughter Michaela was a back-seat passenger. "I just covered my face with my hands then. I remember Michaela screaming and I looked over and he was on the ground."

The Thackaberry family members had left a birthday celebration in Nurney a short time earlier and took different routes.

Sergeant Donal Prendergast, who examined the scene said Mr Thackaberry was wearing special shoes which were locked into the pedals of the racing bike, which he believed to be a contributory factor in the collision. "I would believe he wasn't able to get them (his feet) out quick enough," said Sgt Prendergast.

The presence of hedgerow also restricted the view of the cyclist to his right and the view of the driver, the inquest heard.

They "had less than a one second view of each other". "They hadn't sufficient time to brake and avoid the collision," Sgt Prendergast said.

He agreed with the coroner that the cyclist should have stopped at the junction at which there was a stop sign.

"These professional cyclists seem to put their heads down and just go for it. I believe he wasn't aware of the junction and was cycling straight on," said Sergeant Prendergast.

Mr Thackaberry was not wearing a cycling helmet.

Motorist Micheal Thackaberry, who was giving his sister a lift to work said his father looked like he was going to stop.

A jury returned a verdict of accidental death and recommended the cutting of the hedgerow. The inquest heard the hedges have since been cut.

hnews@herald.ie

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