Gran’s plea after cycle crash tragedy

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A DEVASTATED grandma has warned parents to check their children’s bikes after a schoolboy died in a horror smash.

Tearful Margaret Crehan spoke as an inquest heard the specialised jumper bike of her grandson Josh Trowell (12) – who died after suffering multiple injuries sustained when sitting on the handlebars in a cycle collision – had defects contributing to the accident.

“The only thing I would say is I’d tell parents to check their child’s bikes, their safety, make them wear a helmet,” said Margaret (71), who brought up Josh and older brother Reece at Chesterfield Road, Shuttlewood.

“I’ve got five helmets in my shed. I used to check Josh’s bike but it was the in thing to only have one brake and not wear a helmet.

“You think it’s something that’s never going to happen to you but it does and it shattered my life. I will never be the same, part of me has died with Josh.”

Josh and friend William Bradley, both riding the same pushbike, collided with a Renault Clio on Woodthorpe Road, Shuttlewood, on October 29. The Chesterfield inquest heard the bike crossed the carriageway as if to turn into Bentinck Road.

Driver Robert McCartney said it “appeared from nowhere” from behind another car then hit his Clio. Witnesses there at 4.45pm saw both boys fly into the air.

An air ambulance took Josh to hospital but he later died. A statement from William’s mother said he spent weeks in hospital with serious injuries and has no recollection of the accident.

The inquest heard Josh’s bike had no front brake, as he had allegedly removed it because it wasn’t working, an ineffective rear brake as well as low tyre pressure which – combined with extra weight – made manoeuvres difficult.

Nigel Anderson, deputy coroner for north Derbyshire, recorded a verdict of accidental death and stressed parents should be aware of where children cycled, their bikes’ roadworthiness and the dangers of riding on handlebars.

He said: “This is as tragic a case as any a coroner is called on to hear.

“Young boys are out playing, seemingly without a care in the world, and suddenly one is killed and another seriously injured.

He added: “There was nothing the driver of the Renault could do to prevent the accident.”

ellen.beardmore@derbyshiretimes.co.uk.