The driver of a car which killed a Kilkenny woman out for a cycle when she fell into its path said he didn’t have time to prevent the accident. Orla Lawlor from Bennettsbridge, died after falling from her bicycle in front of Thomas Willis’ car in Langford, Bedfordshire, England on April 22.
An inquest last week in England heard that Orla who was 37 years of age, was riding with a group from Cambridge Cycling Club when she suddenly lost control of her bike just as Mr Willis’ car was passing by in the opposite direction.
Mr Willis said: “I just saw this cyclist fall out on to my side of the road, it all happened in just a split second. I didn’t see her wobbling, she just fell. I felt the impact, but it all happened very quickly and I lost control of the car and went across the road and into the field,” he said.
The inquest, held at Bedford Coroner’s Court, heard Miss Lawlor’s wheel may have clipped the back of a bicycle riding in front of her. Susan Taylor, Miss Lawlor’s riding partner, said: “We were just talking and as I looked over at her I saw her front wheel very close to the bike in front. I didn’t even see the car, she must have just clipped the wheel and gone into its path. I heard this noise and we all stopped and we knew something terrible had happened,” Ms Taylor said.
Deputy coroner Bob Amos recorded a verdict that Miss Lawlor’s death was the result of a road traffic accident. He said that Miss Lawlor – who moved to Cambridge from Ireland to work as a solicitor – was much loved by her family and friends, was an outgoing person, and was an outstanding academic. Orla Lawlor was a medical negligence solicitor at Tees Solicitors in Castle Street, Cambridge and, as well as being a keen cyclist, was also a member of Cambridge Triathlon Club. She was a keen horse rider and hockey player, and was the daughter of All-Ireland winning senior hurler Pat Lawlor.