Belfast Telegraph

No probe into race medic's Dr John Hinds crash death, inquest told

By Louise Roseingrave

There was no formal investigation of a catastrophic crash that claimed the life of a loved and respected rapid response medic from Northern Ireland killed while on duty.

Dr John Hinds (35) from Banbridge, Co Down, was volunteering for the Motorcycle Union of Ireland (MCUI), providing rapid response medical aid at a practice session for the Skerries 100 Road Race, when the crash occurred on July 3, 2015.

Dr Hinds - one of the leading campaigners for an air ambulance emergency service in Northern Ireland - died at Beaumont Hospital the next day.

The incident was not forensically investigated because the road was the subject of a closure order for the race event by Fingal County Council, an inquest heard.

The lead medic for the event, Dr Hinds was fatally injured in a collision with a pole after the rear wheel of his 1,000CC BMW motorcycle lost traction with the road on a downhill right hand bend.

As Dr Hinds attempted to regain control the bike went into a 'tank slap', meaning the handlebars began to shake vigorously.

Dr Hinds' right foot lost contact with the pedal and witnesses said he appeared to make the decision to separate himself from the bike. The motorcycle slid ahead of him at speed and hit and dislodged a safety barrier.

Dr Hinds slid forward and hit a pole before coming to rest in a stony ditch near Baldongan on the 3.4km long course in north Co Dublin.

Photographer Peter John Leverton said Dr Hinds was travelling between six and 10 seconds behind the practice session.

"The bike went into a violent tank slap and Dr Hinds appeared to be picking his exit spot and kicking the bike away. He slid into a farm entrance," Mr Leverton said.

Eyewitness Peter Galbraith said pieces of Dr Hinds medical kit flew past his head as he separated from the bike and collided with a pole.

The race medical team and ambulances were on the scene within 60 seconds and he was rushed to Beaumont Hospital.

Dublin Coroner's Court heard there was no formal forensic collision investigation as the road was the subject of a road closure order.

"For all intents and purposes it's a private place, it's a race track. The rules of the road do not apply," Garda Robert O'Rourke said.

The cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries due to a road traffic collision.

The jury returned a verdict of misadventure and recommended that where a road closure order is in place, forensic investigations should be completed by the Garda.

The family thanked medical teams who attended Dr Hinds at the scene and in hospital.

"We are eternally grateful for your deep compassion and commitment," the family said in a statement.

Belfast Telegraph

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