Family of tragic cyclist Stuart Price say they have ‘a bit of closure’ after inquest into his death ends

The mother of tragic cyclist Stuart Price says the completion of an inquest into his death has given the family ‘a bit of closure.’

By Kevin Clark
Friday, 19 April, 2019, 09:00
Stuart Price

Twenty-four-year-old Stuart, from Murton, died in February 2017 when he was involved in a collision with a car being driven by Lisa Maher on Easington Lane in February 2017.

Ms Maher, 50, of Western Terrace, also of Murton, denied causing death by careless driving and had been due to stand trial at Newcastle Crown Court last month.The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) dropped the charge against her and said there was ‘not a realistic prospect of conviction in this case.’

Sunderland coroner Derek Winter opened an inquest shortly after Stuart’s death but had adjourned it pending the outcome of the court proceedings.

It was reopened at Sunderland Coroner’s Court yesterday.

Accident investigator PC Andy Smith told the hearing Stuart, a keen SAFC fan, had been cycling along the footpath before the collision, but had gone into the road to pass two joggers when he collided with Ms Maher’s Jaguar and suffered fatal injuries.

Recording a verdict that Stuart had died in a road traffic collision, Mr Winter thanked Stuart’s family for their patience.

Lisa Maher leaves South Shields Magistrates Court after her initial appearance

“A coroner has to allow matters to run their course,” he said.

“I have to record a conclusion and I have to make this decision on the balance of probabilities.

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“It appears appropriate to record a short form conclusion of road traffic collision, so that is what I will do.

“I just want to express my condolences to you as a family for your patience while matters were investigated.”

Stuart’s mum Deborah Dobie, stepdad John, and sister Jade attended yesterday’s hearing.

Speaking afterwards, Deborah said: “I was actually looking forward to coming, to get some closure.

“We can get his death certificate and start trying to move on with our lives.

“It is a bit of closure for us. It has taken a long time.”

John echoed her comments: “I am pleased, because it is finished with,” he said.

The family has been helped by the support from friends and neighbours: “There has been amazing support from the community of Murton,” said Deborah.

Murton’s Welfare Park, where a stand has been renamed in Stuart’s honour, is holding a fund-raising football match in his memory today, with the proceeds going to Marie Curie Care.