Jodie Rogers had started to cross Park Street in Grimsby when she was fatally struck by a car driven by Vance Peterson.
At an inquest held in October 2016, coroner Paul Kelly heard that Jodie had moved into the road by an estimated half a metre (less than the diameter her bicycle’s front wheel) when she was hit. Peterson, who was on his way to a birthday party at a pub, had traces of alcohol and cannabis in his system (and was initially arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drink or drugs) and had been recorded by a CCTV camera at Park Street Pets as travelling at 43mph in the 30mph limit.
The collision occurred 150m later; however, Peterson claimed at the inquest that he knew his speed to be 30mph when the collision occurred, and police collision investigator Tim Clark stated that there was no evidence that Peterson was speeding at that point. Clark also remarked that, “there is no pedestrian crossing on Park Street, therefore the responsibility of crossing remains with the pedestrian,” before adding that, “Mr Peterson would have been unable to carry out any avoiding move.”
An eyewitness stated that Peterson “looked like he was travelling fast” and that Jodie was looking for traffic prior to crossing. She also stated that she saw Jodie being thrown over the car in the collision.
The collision occurred as Jodie was crossing from the west side of the street to the east. It occurred on a Friday when parking restrictions apply and thus it seems very likely that there would have been clear visibility from the southern end of the street all the way to Jodie’s position, a distance of approximately 240m (approximately 18 seconds at 30mph, 12.5 seconds at 43mph).
Jodie was wearing a bright pink top, but was not wearing a helmet. Both Clark and Kelly offered opinions about helmets, saying respectively that “it can be potentially life-saving and injuries can be reduced” and that “the appropriate head gear would have reduced the effect [of being hit by a car at 30mph]”. Whether the post mortem supported these opinions is not reported in the media. (It may be noted from numerous reports into this and other incidents—including some which involve no injury at all—that the Grimsby Telegraph appears to take a clear stance on the matter of cycling helmets.)
Looking at other instances of people being similarly thrown over a car, there are cases where people have died while wearing one and cases where people have survived while not wearing one, so while any potential change to the probability of survival is unclear (though the speed required to throw a person over a car exceeds the parameters of cycle helmet standards) it certainly seems unreasonable to assume that a helmet would have made a substantive difference to the outcome.
Humberside police initially passed the case to the CPS, who made an “evidential decision” not to prosecute. After the first decision, Jodie’s mother Nicola exercised the victims’ right to review and Humberside police duly reviewed their investigation. However, it appears that prosecution has been declined a second time.
The coroner recorded a verdict of death by road traffic collision.