A CYCLIST who died on a main road is thought to have collided with a bridge abutment whilst not wearing a helmet.

Southampton resident Declan Murray, 55, was pronounced deceased on the B2150 in Droxford on August 10 2020.

This was near the Station Road junction at approximately 11pm.

PC Andrew Daw, forensic collision investigator, said that he was likely to have been travelling at around 25mph in almost complete darkness. The front tyre of his bike was also significantly under-inflated.

"The only lights available on this road at this time of night were the lighting equipment that Declan had and the lights from other road users," PC Daw told an inquest in Winchester on May 11.

"He had a single front white light on his bike that had been previously damaged with sticky tape applied to it, meaning the light was bleeding through the damaged sides.

"We do not know what position Mr Murray had the light in, but he was travelling at a considerable pace without sufficient lighting. If he was going 25mph, he would have had one second to react to what was in front of him."

PC Daw said he "could not rule out" the idea that the deceased might have been reacting to a wild animal or other disturbance.

There is no evidence to suggest that Mr Murray, of Holyrood Avenue, would have survived the incident if he had been wearing a helmet.

An investigation by Home Office pathologist Basil Purdue states the cause of death as head and chest injuries, typical of a high energy collision.

The report added: "The findings are entirely in-keeping with those of a road traffic incident. It shows the head struck a heavy blunt object whilst moving at speed."

Family members were concerned Mr Murray had lost concentration due to low blood sugar, as he only ate one meal a day. This was ruled out by the coroner who referred to the post mortem.

On the day of the incident, three members of the public waited with Mr Murray for the emergency services to arrive.

Following a request for investigation by the family, the road markings near the scene of the crash have been refreshed.

Vegetation has also been cut back on a chevron board near the bridge, but it was noted this would still have reflected Mr Murray's light had it been powerful enough.

"Declan was quite an independent soul," said Mr Murray's sister, who was not identified at Winchester Coroner's Court.

"When we met up or he was invited round he was always very political. I wasn't as well read as him, and certainly not as controversial regarding politics!

"He stood up for not just his own rights but also those who needed help. He was very involved with other people and had won several cases at the High Court.

"Declan did live a very private life but was a lovable guy, always stood up for the underdog, was so very intelligent, and very polite but very firm."

Mr Murray's landlord of almost 20 years also attended the inquest to share a tribute.

Area coroner Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp concluded as a road traffic incident-related death.