Keen sportsman died 18 months after accident in Corwen woodland, inquest hears

Reporter:

Andrew Martin

A keen sportsman died 18 months after suffering “catastrophic” injuries in a mountain-biking accident, an inquest heard.

Roger Pearce had been back home from hospital only a matter of days when he was taken ill and rushed to the Maelor Hospital, Wrexham, where he died. He was 64,

After reading about his sporting achievements John Gittins, coroner for North Wales East and Central, commented: “I can’t help but be impressed.”

In a statement read at the inquest in Ruthin, Mr Pearce’s wife Irene, of Ty Mawr, Cynwyd, said the jig and toolmaker had worked for 33 years for the local firm of Ifor Williams Trailers.

A keen motorcycle triallist, he went on to fly microlight aircraft and a paraglider, and built his own paraglider. He then turned to cycling and competed in several gruelling enduro races.

In August 2015, however, he had an accident while riding in woodland near Corwen and fractured his spine, which left him paralysed from the shoulders down.

He spent the next 18 months in hospitals in Bangor, Stoke, Southport and Gobowen, and despite his disability learned to operate a computer with his mouth.

He returned home in February 2016, where carers visited him every day, but on March 16, Mrs Pearce was awakened by his unusual breathing and dialled 999.

He died shortly after arriving in the emergency department in Wrexham and pathologist Dr Andrew Dalton, who carried out a post-mortem examination, gave the cause of death as pneumonia, with the accident being a contributory factor.

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, the coroner said that Mr Pearce’s immobility would have predisposed him to such infection.

Describing him as “quite an adventurer”, he said: “The cycling accident and the catastrophic injury he received, was the catalyst for the pneumonia.”

Email:

andrew.martin@nwn.co.uk

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