Fatal collision 5 February 2015 Green's Lane, Downholland, Lancashire

Last updated 25 October 2016
Green's Lane, Downholland, Lancashire (show full map)
Casualties Clive Wright, 67 (fatality)
Time of incident 4:35pm, 5 February 2015
Vehicles involved Pedal cycle, Tractor
Incident factors None known
Police details Lancashire, incident 0880

Clive Wright was reportedly struck by a passing tractor driven by a local farmer and then run over by the fuel tanker it was towing. He sustained serious chest injuries as a result, and was declared dead on arrival at Aintree Hospital.

Wright’s death was not recorded in STATS19 and was instead recorded as being the result of “natural causes”.

A post mortem found that Wright had suffered an aortic dissection, which the Southport Visiter describes rather emphatically:

“An aortic dissection is when the inner layer of the aorta, the large blood vessel branching off the heart, tears. It is a fatal heart problem which is extremely difficult to detect and was something Clive was not aware of. It could have occurred at any time or any place. When it happened, the keen cyclist was stationary, waiting for passing traffic in a single-path lane. Tragically it caused him to collapse, and he fell under the trailer of a passing tractor.”

It may be worth noting that whilst aortic dissection is a severe condition, the term “fatal” requires some qualification: 80% of sufferers survive the trip to hospital, where the condition is often operable. More interestingly, aortic dissection can be caused by blunt chest trauma, and Wikipedia notes that “up to 18% of deaths that occur in automobile collisions [are] related to the injury.”

Since STATS20 requires that exclusion is dependent on the death having not having been caused by injuries sustained in the incident, the coroner was presumably satisfied that the dissection must have occurred prior to the collision—ie that he fell and the dissection was the cause of that, rather than that he fell for any other reason or was struck.