Inquest into the death of Rex Sylvester Sizeland (2013) H&FLR 2015-22
Coroners’ Court of Victoria
28 June 2013
Coram: Coroner Parkinson
Appearing for the family of the deceased: Mr G Stewart (solicitor)
Appearing for Mr Costa: Mr T Bourke (instructors not identified).
Catchwords: Victoria – Coroner – cyclist – hit by car – distracted driver – death
Facts: The deceased was aged 66 years and an experienced road cyclist. On 21 December 2009 he was riding between Torquay and Barwon Heads. During the ride, he and the other two men with whom he was riding were struck from behind by a car driven by a Mr Costa.
The evidence of lay witnesses was that the deceased and the other two riders were to the left of the road and using about half of the width of the northbound lane. The court concluded that there was no reason for Mr Costa not to have noticed the cyclists. The court was somewhat critical of his evidence and considered it likely that he had been distracted by something inside the vehicle, although it could not conclude that he had been reading a text message.
Held: That Mr Sizeland’s death was preventable and that the death could have been prevented had he paid proper attention to the task of driving. No action of Mr Sizeland’s caused his death.
The Court’s judgment is available here.