The death of a much-loved retired teacher and devout Christian who was hit by a van while cycling was a 'tragic accident', a coroner has ruled.

Brian Jensen, 81, was cycling south across the A590 on August 3 near Gilpin Bridge, Levens, when he was hit by a dark grey van on the westbound carriageway, causing him multiple injuries which proved fatal.

Mr Jensen's wife, Sandra Jensen, also a retired teacher, told the inquest that he was a very keen and experienced cyclist, who had led cycling trips between Lands End and John o' Groats several times with pupils.

"My children and I are so proud of Brian, the fact that he was still physically fit and riding his bike," she said.

"It wasn't unlike him to ride 100 miles a week.

"The day the collision occurred he'd already ridden 36 miles with his daughter Helen and he would've ridden another 50 miles had he completed his trip that day."

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Eyewitness statements spoke of the immediate aftermath, though none had seen the actual collision.

They described 'black smoke' coming from a braking van, and a man lying near the hard shoulder of the dual carriageway unconscious, in cycling clothes, with a badly-damaged bicycle.

Numerous passers-by stopped to offer help, including several nurses who performed CPR on Mr Jensen, and an ambulance arrived shortly after, but Mr Jensen was pronounced dead at 12.40pm.

The driver of the van that collided with Mr Jensen, of Morecambe, did not make a statement, but was heard by witnesses to say.

"He just rode out into the middle of the carriageway."

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The inquest heard that the driver, who was the sole occupant of the van, was visibly shaken, and roadside alcohol and subsequent drug tests proved that there were no traces of either in the man's system, or that of Mr Jensen.

A vehicle collision investigation report carried out by PC Whittaker concluded  the driver was not driving above the speed limit, and there was no evidence of mobile phone use during or near the time of the collision, no erratic driving, and no issues with road layout or visibility, being a dry, clear day.

Mr Jensen's GP report showed that he was in good health, having recovered from bowel cancer in 2017, but had had two cataract operations within the last five years.

Accepting pathologist Dr Armour's conclusion that Mr Jensen had died from 'multiple injuries', Coroner Mr Robert Cohen said: "Although his death was certainly tragic, I don't find that there would be a proper basis to conclude that the driving of another vehicle was unlawful to the extent that an unlawful killing conclusion would be appropriate.

"I have reached the conclusion that this was in truth a tragic accident, one of those tragedies for which nobody should be blamed but one which we simply have to accept with very great sorrow and regret.

"I will conclude that the type of death was a road traffic collision.

Mrs Jensen paid tribute to her husband, who she had also volunteered alongside in a Morecambe hospice in latter years, serving tea and meals to patients and families:

"His main aim in life was to follow Christ and help others in any way he could. 
"Brian will be sadly missed by his family."