Tuesday 17 September 2019

Cyclist killed in late-night city taxi crash may have stopped to fix his bike chain, inquest hears

The Dublin Coroner's Court
The Dublin Coroner's Court

Louise Roseingrave

A 40-year-old cyclist who fell onto the road as he dismounted his bicycle was fatally struck by a passing taxi in Dublin city.

An inquest heard that Paul Hannon (40) a solicitor working at the Central Bank from Castleknock, Dublin 15 may have stopped to fix his bike chain.

Described as ‘a wonderful son, brother and colleague’ Mr Hannon died after he sustained chest injuries in what the coroner described as a tragedy that was down ‘split second timing.’

“He was a wonderful son, brother, friend and colleague. He is a tremendous loss. He left his mark on this city, country and on this planet. We as a family are very grateful for the consideration of the jury and to all those who have supported us over the last 18 months,” Mr Hannon’s brother Phillip Hannon said.

The accident happened at 1am on March 24 2017 at the junction of Bull Alley and Patrick Street in Dublin 8. Mr Hannon had organised a surprise party for a colleague and was cycling home.

He cycled west along Bull Alley where CCTV footage captured his last movements. He reached the central median on Patrick Street near Christchurch where he stopped and began to dismount but fell backwards.

Public Service Vehicle Inspector Garda Edward Davin examined the bicycle and found it was not damaged in the incident but the chain was derailed.

“Mr Hannon lost his balance as he was dismounting his bicycle and fell out into the line of traffic. There was nothing he could do to stop his fall,” he said.

The garda noted a hesitation in the dismount that may have been caused by an item of clothing catching on the bike but he said this was speculation.

Mr Hannon was struck by a passing taxi fractions of a second later.

“I didn’t see where this person came from. I passed the traffic lights. I heard a bang,” taxi driver Anthony Olagide said.

His three passengers were doctors who tended to the injured man.

Emergency services rushed Mr Hannon to St James’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Paramedics brought his damaged cycle helmet to the emergency department. A post-mortem gave the cause of death was hypovolemic shock (blood loss) due to extensive lung injuries due to a collision with a car.

Coroner Dr Crona Gallagher said Mr Hannon had the equivalent of four units of alcohol in his system according to a post-mortem toxicology screening.

Gardai investigated the incident and a file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) but no charges were brought. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

“It was down to split second timing and I can only imagine how difficult this has been for the family,” Dr Gallagher said.

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