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Tragedy of Lewes nurse killed on holiday cycle ride heard at inquest
A 27-year-old cyclist hit the open door of a parked car and fell under the wheels of a lorry while on a working holiday in New Zealand, an inquest was told.
A crash investigation report commissioned privately in New Zealand partly blamed nurse Jane Bishop for her own death – and said she should have been cycling “more defensively”.
But East Sussex coroner Alan Craze said he was “cynical” about the report and did not believe it was independent as it was part of “postcrash litigation” by Fokieti Puleiku, the driver of the truck which Miss Bishop went under.
He added if newevidence emerged a second inquest may be held.
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Miss Bishop, from Lewes, died at the scene of the crash in Tamaki Drive, Auckland, the report said.
Miss Bishop, who had worked at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, was the only cycling fatality on the busy seafront road between 2006 and 2010, the report claimed.
But Eastbourne coroner’s court was told yesterday in that period there were 78 crashes involving cyclists, 17 classed as “serious”.
The report said Miss Bishop had been cycling home from work at an Auckland hospital on November 17, 2010, when she collided with the open door of Glenn Becker’s Jeepstyle vehicle, parked legally on the left-hand side of the road.
According to the report Mr Becker said Miss Bishop hit his door, arms and leg before falling from her bicycle and under the wheels of the truck.
Witness accounts in the crash report said they sawawomancycling “quite fast” before the incident.
The report said Mr Becker “looked in his rear-view mirror”
before getting out of his vehicle and Miss Bishop was not there.
Mr Craze said: “It’s clear neither [Miss Bishop nor Mr Becker] saw each other until the last minute.”
Recording a verdict of accidental death due to a road traffic crash, he described what happened as an “awful tragedy”.
He added: “I get a clear idea poor Jane came into impact [with a vehicle] overtaking parked cars.”
Miss Bishop’s family including father Derek and mother Barbara previously described Miss Bishop as a “devoted daughter”.