A DRIVER who collided with a bike in Drysdale has told how she performed CPR on the cyclist before going into shock.
At a Coroner’s Inquest at Geelong yesterday, the court heard how driver Brooke Connor appeared to be manoeuvring around keen cyclist David Sidebottom on Murradoc Road in Geelong around 9.10am on January 5, 2011 when the side of her Honda CRV hit Mr Sidebottom’s bike.
The court heard Mr Sidebottom, from Ballarat, was thrown along the road and died at the scene.
No charges were laid against Ms Connor. Coroner Ron Saines said his role was to give consideration to any public safety issues which may need to be addressed, not to lay blame. He will hand down his findings in the coming weeks.
Geelong Highway Patrol Leading Senior Constable Jason Williamson gave evidence that Ms Connor’s drug and alcohol tests were negative and phone data showed she had not been using it in the lead up to the accident.
Senior Constable Williamson said Mr Sidebottom was riding in the lane as there was only a 15-centimetre bitumised shoulder to the left of the outside lane line. He said he and another police officer had observed wind gusts on the undulating road, which may have affected Mr Sidebottom.
“I believe something did happen prior to the impact,’’ he said.
The significant damage to the bike and scrapes on the car indicated “a side swipe kind of collision”, the court heard.Senior Constable Williamson said a driver approaching in the opposite direction saw Ms Connor driving in the middle of the road before doing a U-turn.
The other driver did not see Mr Sidebottom riding on the road.
Police inquiries with Mr Sidebottom’s family found the 53-year-old and his wife regularly holidayed in Clifton Springs and had ridden a circuit he called the ‘Portarlington Loop’ numerous times and believed it was saver than busier roads, Sen-Constable Williamson said.
In a statement read to the court, Ms Connor said she said she drove the route three to four times a week and usually drove around a cyclist on every trip as it was a “very popular” road.
The court heard she saw Mr Sidebottom in the distance and moved to the centre of the road to overtake as she approached.
The mother-of-one said she heard a “sharp bang” and saw through the back window a person in the air but she could not remember where Mr Sidebottom had been on the road prior to the noise.
She told police she phoned an ambulance before assisting an emergency nurse, who lived at a nearby home, with CPR on Mr Sidebottom.
Mr Sidebottom and Ms Connor’s families were both present in court for the hearing.