Teen had bike brakes checked on day of fatal crash, inquest told
6:33pm Tuesday 30th April 2013 in By Anna Mauremootoo, Senior reporter for Marlborough and Pewsey
Cyclist Kadian Harding, who was killed in a road accident in Marlborough last summer, had taken his bike to Acceler8 in the town to a repair on the day that he died because of concerns about the brakes, an inquest heard today.
The 14-year-old from Hampshire suffered serious brain injuries as a result of a collision with a white Mercedes Van on July 25 2012 on the A4 at Clatford.
Kadian, who was attending the Marlborough Summer School at the time, was riding down a steep path with his father, Thomas and five other people, including his aunt, cousin and friends, when he was unable to stop as he approached the busy road.
On afternoon of his death Mr Harding had given his son some money to have the brakes on his bike checked by a professional.
According to a statement by Kadian’s friend, read out by coroner for Wiltshire David Ridley, the pair took the bike to Acceler8 in Hilliers Yard and Kadian asked the man behind the till, shop owner Philip Birkett, to check the brakes.
Mr Birkett, who said he had never felt the need to take any qualifications in bicycle mechanics, disagreed with this statement and said that he had been asked to look at the gears and check the rear break.
He said: “I stand by my work and I feel confident with what I did.”
Kadian’s father, an experience cyclist, told the hearing how his son had bought saved up to buy the touring bicycle saved up to buy the long haul trucker touring bike, which was exhibited in the court room, and he was partly assembling it himself in a workshop he set up in his bedroom.
He said: "We were always clear with him that the bike would have to be checked by a professional.
"He was excited about having a good bike, he would be very sad to see the bike there now."
According to Mr Harding, Kadian had taken the bicycle to Owen’s Cycles, a bike shop near his home, on at least two occasions.
He told the hearing that the first time he had concerns about the brakes was when the family arrived in Marlborough.
He said that after Kadian picked the bike up from Acceler8 he didn’t ride the bike but did try both front and back brakes and I noticed they were much firmer.
He added: "From my narrative he would not have had the problems he had on the Wednesday if he had not gone to the bike shop." Describing the moments before the fatal crash, Mr Harding said: "His last words were ‘its muddy’ in a Northern accent because we have an ongoing joke, he was laughing and making jokes.
"We weren't going that fast. We were cycling in tandem and then he was suddenly ahead of me.
"This was surprising because he is not the kind of kid who likes to go fast.
After the collision and Mr Harding went to his son's side and could see no signs of life.
He said: "It was 100 per cent clear to me that he was immediately dead."
It was estimated that Kadian was travelling down the slope at between 25mph and 30mph.
When asked to describe his son Mr Harding explained that he loved the outdoors.
He said: “He was the most charming, intelligent, funny, generous and kind boy you could ever meet.”
The inquest will conclude tomorrow.
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