James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Truck driver said he gave cyclists 'plenty of room'

Jane Farrelly (left) died while she was cycling with her husband, Ian, and friends near Taupo in March. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Jane Farrelly (left) died while she was cycling with her husband, Ian, and friends near Taupo in March. Photo / Sarah Ivey

An inquest into the death of Auckland cyclist Jane Farrelly has finished and the coroner will consider his finding.

Mrs Farrelly, 50, died while on a group ride with her husband Ian and friends from the Manukau Veterans Cycle Club near Taupo last March after a truck and trailer unit hit her bicycle.

The truck driver told the inquest in Hamilton yesterday he hadn't had an eye examination in at least five years at the time of the accident. He later had a test which found he required specialist glasses.

Larry James Boulcott, 55, said he gave a group of cyclists "plenty of room" as he tried to overtake them on Poihipi Road.

Mr Boulcott said the group of seven cyclists were riding two abreast about a metre in from the fog line and as he passed them going up a hill on Poihipi Road with at least half of his truck in the opposite lane.

Mr Boulcott said he allowed "at least half a truck" in between the vehicle he was driving and two cyclists prior to coming across the group Mrs Farrelly was in.

Yolande Savage, who was riding directly behind Mrs Farrelly, said she saw her stand on her pedals and turn her head.

Mr Boulcott's truck had given her a fright and caused her to wobble slightly just before the collision.

All of the cyclists who gave evidence said they couldn't hear Mr Boulcott's truck as it approached and Ms Savage said she first knew of it when she saw it in the corner of her eye.

"It was beside me and then I saw him hit Jane."

Coroner Gordon Matenga said there were two areas of consistent differences in evidence presented by the cycling group and that of Mr Boulcott including their formation while riding and the distance between the truck and the group as he tried to pass.

The inquest concluded yesterday after two days of evidence and Coroner Matenga will consider the evidence.

- NZ Herald

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