South Yorkshire Times, February 17, 1951
Charles Hanmer’s Inquest At Wetherby
At the inquest conducted at Wetherby yesterday (Thursday) by the District Coroner, Mr. E. T. Heap, a verdict of “Misadventure” was returned. The jury said they had come to the conclusion that it was a pure accident and they exonerated the driver of the ‘bus from all blame.
Evidence of identification was given by Mrs. Pearl Lund, of 108, Main Street, Goldthorpe, a niece.
Henry Spencer, a Bramham man, spoke of Mr. Hanmer’s van overtaking him as he was cycling along the Thorner Bramham Road. It was foggy, and visibility was only about 30 yards.’ The van was on the crown of the road and going at no more than 20 miles an hour. Witness next saw a ‘bus approaching about 30 yards away, and when the van was 20 yards in front of witness, the two vehicles met. The ‘bus stopped immediately and the van spun round.
Dr. R. W. Lee said cause of death was shock due to multiple injuries. Mr. Hamner’s principal injuries were severe scalp wound, with a probable fracture of the skull, fracture of one or two ribs on the left side and compound fracture of the right forearm.
“Fog Was Very Thick”
A woman passenger in the ‘bus said the fog was very thick and the ‘bus was creeping along and was slowing down to stop. The ‘bus was on its proper side and she did not think the driver of the ‘bus had any chance of avoiding the accident.
The driver of the ‘bus, John Doyle, of Leeds, estimated his speed before he started slowing down in response to the bell at about 14 miles an hour. Visibility was about 20 yards, He saw the van approaching when it loomed out of the fog about 20 yards away. The van’s offside wheels seemed to be in line with his own offside wheels and the van appeared to be going faster than the fog allowed him to. He did not think the driver saw him in time. Witness swerved on to the grass verge. He denied that swerving on to the verge caused the ‘bus to bounce.
The coroner said that apparently Hanmer, after passing the cyclist, failed to see the ‘bus and get over to his proper side in time.