Mr. William Checksfield, of 12, Spencer-road, Rushden, who was knocked down by a pedal cyclist yesterday week, while returning home from work, passed away in Northampton General Hospital on Tuesday.
Mr. Checksfield was knocked down by a pedal cyclist and cut about the head. He suffered from fits after the collision, and on Friday last, lost consciousness and was taken to the hospital, where he passed away without regaining consciousness.
He was a native of Rushden, and passed away at the age of 34 years, leaving a widow. He was a boot operative, and the accident occurred on the morning that he had found work, after being unemployed for several weeks.
The inquest was held at Northampton on Wednesday, by the Borough Coroner, Mr. A.J. Darnell. Superintendent Jones, Wellingborough, represented the County Police.
Dr. Miss Pilsworth, house physician at the Northampton Hospital, said Checksfield was admitted there on February 20th, and at that time nothing could be seen to account for his condition. He could not speak, but she could not say if he was unconscious. A history of the case was supplied, and an X-ray examination of the skull was made in view of suspected fracture. An operation was performed and the man’s condition grew worse, and he died on Monday morning. It was thought a post mortem examination was desirable and with the consent of the Coroner one was made, and this revealed that there was a fracture on the left side of the skull, and that death was due to laceration of the brain following this fracture. Deceased was not able to give an account of the accident. Dr. Pilsworth mentioned that deceased’s skull was abnormally thin.
Howard Sanders, shoehand, of 9 Wellingborough-road, Higham Ferrers, said he was walking home for dinner with Checksfield about 12.30 p.m., on February 12th. They went to cross the road at Church Parade, when they noticed a number of cyclists coming from Newton-road. The cyclist involved in the accident rang his bell. Witness went back while deceased went on and was caught and knocked down. Witness agreed with the Coroner that with one going forward and the other back, they did not give the cyclist much chance. He could not speak of the speed of the cyclist, except that he seemed to come fast past witness, but he only saw they cycle for a yard or two. At the time he did not think Checksfield was badly hurt.
P.C. Redley, Rushden, said he was regulating traffic at the cross-roads where, it being dinner-time, there were a good many people about. He saw some cyclists in Newton-road and signalled them across, stopping the traffic in Church-street and High-street. A number of pedestrians crossed the road when he released the Church-street traffic, and he saw deceased on the ground unconscious. The cyclist had been travelling at quite an ordinary speed, and in witness’s view no one was to blame. He picked Checksfield up and took him home in a car, and he was attended by Dr. Greenfield. Witness understood deceased regained consciousness for brief periods, but never enough to explain the accident.
Tom Henry Checksfield, upholsterer and polisher, of 77 Spencer-road, Rushden, a brother of the deceased, said he saw the latter in hospital, but although he made some signs, he could give no account of the accident. Deceased was not nervous, having plenty of confidence, and his sight was good, but his hearing was not as good as it might have been.
Herbert Marshall, of London-road, Irchester, the rider of the cycle, was present, and the Coroner, calling him up, pointed out to him that he need not give evidence unless he chose, adding the usual caution. Marshall said he had been very upset since the accident, and he did not feel well enough to give evidence. It was elicited from P.C. Redley that Marshall made a statement at the time, but as he had not been cautioned, Mr. Darnell said he could not admit that statement.
When the Coroner was proceeding to tell the jury that it did not appear that any one was to blame, deceased’s brother raised the point as to what was the condition of the cycle at the time. The Coroner said he could not question Marshall on the point. He re-called the constable, but the latter said he did not examine the machine.
Supt. Jones suggested that the condition of the cycle would not make any difference in this case, as it was only a question of a yard or two covering the whole incident.
The jury returned a verdict that death was due to laceration of the brain following fracture of the skull, accidentally sustained. They attached no blame to anyone, and joined the Coroner in expressions of sympathy with the relatives of the deceased.