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'I never got to say goodbye': grieving Poole dad speaks out
THE grieving father of a teenage cyclist, who died in a mystery accident on a busy dual carriageway, has spoken of his agony after never having had the chance to say ‘goodbye.’
An inquest into the death of Michael Walker, 17, heard how the keen sailor from Sopers Lane, Poole had suddenly fallen off his racing bike, into the path of a car on Holes Bay Road.
Speaking publicly for the first time after the Bournemouth hearing, Michael’s sobbing father Mark said: “I remember getting home from work that day.
“I walked in and thought Mikey was having a shower upstairs. I shouted up but there was no reply.
“I could still smell my son but then realised he had just left to go to Poole Yacht Club.
“When I tried to phone it was too late; I never got the chance to say goodbye.”
Earlier East Dorset Coroner Sheriff Payne recorded an accidental death verdict after hearing how driver John Holmes could not have avoided the collision. Mr Holmes, 70, from Wareham was behind the wheel of his red Ford Fiesta when tragedy struck on May 4.
He said: “There was something light in colour, full in front of me. The next thing I knew was my front wheels were going over something; then my back wheels. I didn’t have the chance to brake; when I looked back I could see a body lying in the road.”
Michael’s mother Debbie wept as she recalled how her son’s dream had been to join the Royal Navy, adding: “One of his greatest passions was sailing. “Mikey was a lovely lad who was always smiling. His death has left a huge void in all our lives.”
Sgt Nikki Burt told the Coroner’s Court how there had been no evidence to support the prosecution of Mr Holmes.
Witness John Rogers, who was overtaking the Fiesta, said: “The cyclist began to veer towards the middle of the road. He left the pavement and went into the path of the Fiesta.”
His front-seat passenger Anita Krzynowek said Michael hadn’t been wearing a cycling helmet, adding: “As I looked at him he fell over”.
Another witness Kerry Ann Clark said Michael had “appeared to shake and wobble” before losing control of his cycle.
No defects were found on the car but there were signs of wear on the cycle’s brakes and the saddle had been loose, the hearing was told. Mr Payne concluded: “For some reason, Michael lost control of his bike. It would appear that the fall into the road occurred at the last possible moment for Mr Holmes to react.”