Safety message is Kyle’s legacy
Teenager’s tragic death is a warning to cyclists.
THE tragic death of a much-loved Seaton teenager must not be in vain.
That is the hope of Kyle Littley’s family after an inquest ruled his death was an accident.
It is hoped that people of all ages reading this story will learn lessons from Kyle’s death and think twice before riding bicycles without safety helmets.
Kyle, who was 17 and formerly of Elizabeth Road, died on November 21 last year, a week after he was found lying injured in a road at Colyton.
The Bicton College student never regained consciousness and the inquest, held in Plymouth, heard he died as a result of injuries sustained in a fall from his bike and pneumonia.
The assistant deputy coroner for Plymouth and South Devon, Deborah Archer, returned the verdict after a two-hour hearing attended by Kyle’s grieving family.
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Kyle sustained head and arm injuries on his way home from a night out with friends in Colyton.
The inquest heard that Kyle had consumed some alcohol prior to the accident, but was described by witnesses as being happy and a bit tipsy, but not drunk.
He was seen cycling away from a pub after refusing an offer to stay at a friend’s house.
Kyle was found by a passing taxi driver sometime after 1pm on November 14. He was lying on the road outside a bungalow in Stafford Lane.
Sergeant Nicholas Bloomfield told the inquest that Kyle had been heading down Stafford Lane on the A3502 and probably lost control of his bike when negotiating a bend down the dark road.
He said: “At that time, he was not displaying lights and was cycling in total darkness.
“He lost control and struck his head on a hard surface, which caused serious head injuries as he was not wearing a helmet at the time.
“We are satisfied that no other people were involved in a collision.”
It is thought Kyle may have hit his head on the road or a low stemmed wall.
A police collision investigator, who examined the bike, reported that it was not in good condition.
John Snow, a police forensic examiner, said: “The defects present would have caused unpredictable handling characteristics for the rider of the pedal cycle.”
Ms Archer said: “The pedal cyclist received injuries, which proved fatal.
“Mr Littley was cycling without lights, trying to negotiate a slight left bend, cycling without a helmet and serious mechanical defects to the front suspension.”