Fatal collision 22 September 2015 A421, Elstow, Bedfordshire

Last updated 21 October 2016
Approximate location
A421, Elstow, Bedfordshire (show full map)
Casualties Anatolijis Sahmanovs, 46 (fatality)
Time of incident 6:00am, 22 September 2015
Vehicles involved Pedal cycle, HGV (3.5t+)
Incident factors Failed to see, Hit from behind
Police details Bedfordshire

Anatolijis Sahmanovs was cycling west on the A421 when he was struck by an HGV driven by Roy Parry.

In October 2016, Parry told an inquest he was driving on cruise control at 50mph when he saw an animal run across the road. In avoiding the animal, he drove into Sahamanovs. “I swerved to the left to try and avoid it because I’m an animal lover,” he said. “I felt I had hit something and I looked in my mirror—I thought I’d hit the armco barrier.”

Parry pulled over and saw that his lorry was damaged but continued to his destination and reported the damage to his employer. He was pulled over by a police officer while making his return journey.

Police collision investigator Simon Burgin offered opinion that the collision was “unavoidable,” adding that “it is not illegal to cycle down the dual carriageway, but if you ask me if it’s something I would do my answer would be no.”

Burgin further opined that “there are pools in your line of vision where people can just disappear,” citing an investigation into the death of a pedestrian struck while crossing a road. “When we did the reconstruction…we got in the car and turned the headlights on and it [presumably a mannequin representing the victim] just disappeared.”

Coroner Martin Oldham agreed with Burgin’s opinion that the crash was unavoidable, also remarking that “many people when they are driving seem to think using dipped beams gives them enough visibility to drive safely. There should be some kind of public awareness course.”

Parry pleaded guilty to failing to stop at the scene of an accident; the sentence appears not to have been reported in the media.