A 78-YEAR-OLD cyclist killed in a horror crash may have been trying to retrieve his baseball cap from the road, an inquest heard.

James Edwards’ hat had blown off seconds before the impact which left him with fatal head and spinal injuries, Dorset Coroner Sheriff Payne was told.

A Bournemouth inquest heard the 4x4 vehicle which was in collision with Mr Edwards had numerous faults.

But accident investigators were unable to say whether the collision would have been avoided if the Mitsubishi Shogun had been in better condition.

Mr Payne heard Mr Edwards, a keen cyclist of Old Furzebrook Road, Wareham was travelling east on the C80 near Bovington when witnesses saw his hat blow off.

Michael Watkins said Mr Edwards slowed down and his wife, Karen Watkins, said she saw Mr Edwards start to do a U-turn before colliding with the Shogun at 3pm on Wednesday January 29. Both said they assumed he was stopping to collect his hat.

Mitsubishi driver Stuart White and his passenger Callum McGoldrick, both farm assistants, said they were overtaking Mr Edwards when he veered across the road in front of them. They said he was looking in the opposite direction.

The inquest heard the Shogun’s anti-lock braking system (ABS) was not working, it had faulty lights and the MOT had run out.

Recording a verdict that Mr Edwards died as the result of a road traffic collision, Mr Payne said: “It would appear to me that the fault to the ABS does not make an awful lot of difference to the outcome.

“I think, sadly, Mr Edwards has not perceived the presence of the Mitsubishi.”