Tributes to cyclist who was carrying out vital medical research

Tributes to cyclist who was carrying out vital medical research

Tributes to cyclist who was carrying out vital medical research

by Sian Davies , Education Reporter 7:00am Wednesday 16th January 2013 in News

“A TERRIBLE end to a wonderful life.”

That was how the death of James Atherton was described by those who knew him through his work at Southampton University, where he was on the verge of completing a vital medical research project.

As reported in yesterday’s Daily Echo, the 25-year-old student died from injuries after he was involved in a crash with a car in the New Forest while riding with friends.

Last night, tributes to the popular cyclist, who was studying a PhD in medicine, continued to pour in, led by his course leader.

Dr Nicola Englyst said: “James was an extremely talented student who was in the final year of his PhD in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton.

“He was looking forward to completing his doctoral thesis and continuing with his research into how blood vessels maintain their health.

“James’s research brought him into contact with many staff and students in the hospital and the university.

“He was generous with his time and energy and always had time for anyone who asked his help and he will be sorely missed.

“James was someone who was good at everything he put his mind to. His death is a terrible end to a wonderful life.”

Mr Atherton was also well known in the local cycling community and was a former member of Southampton Triathlon Club.

Chairman Julian McCarthy said: “The local triathlon and cycling community is small and close knit, and we were devastated to hear of his tragic death at such a young age and would like to express our condolences to his family and racing friends who will miss his quiet determination and his natural ability.”

Mr Atherton was originally from St Anne’s in Lancashire, where tributes were also being paid by friends.

Childhood friend Sam Auty described him as “unbelievably sporty” as a youngster who captained his school’s cricket team and represented Lancashire in rugby.

Judith Cooper, head teacher at his former schoo,l AKS Lytham, said: “James was an outstanding young man and a great ambassador.

“At the age of 13 he completed the 58km EIGER bike challenge and he also toured New Zealand and Corsica.

“Our thoughts go out to his parents and brother Charles at this tragic time.”

Police are investigating the accident that happened just before 11am on Sunday and involved a grey Volswagen Golf being driven by a 57-year-old man from Worcestershire.

Mr Atherton was airlifted to hospital but died on Monday.

Contact Totton Roads Policing Unit on 101.

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Comments

8:11am Wed 16 Jan 13 Outside of the Box says…

Such as tragic waste of a young life.

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9:58am Wed 16 Jan 13 igvo12 says…

New Forest is considered to be a safe place for cyclists. How exactly did this happen? A speed limit breech (40 mph)? It may help to avoid future tragedies like this if Dailo Echo can liaise with police/family and tell the readers full details.

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1:10pm Wed 16 Jan 13 befriendly says…

I often drive across the forest and I'm afraid to say it's not unusual to be over taken when sticking to the limit with some doing well over fifty. As usual we get the headline story to sell papers, but then nothing but a tiny, tucked away piece about any follow up or any convictions. There should be big headlines about about all convictions as I'm certain the thought of Jail or large fines might slow some drivers down or deter some criminal acts. I do applaud the echo for listing who's been in court recently, but a smaller front page headline about court appearances on page ? might make more people read them and take a little more care about what they do. It may even sell more papers due to neighbourly curiosity.

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4:16pm Wed 16 Jan 13 geoff51 says…

Much as I feel sorry for the young man why is it assumed always that the motorists are to blame? there are a lot of idiots on bicycles that ride in the forest with no regard to the conditions on the roads, secure in the arrogance that they are above the law in their opinion. The sooner cyclists realise that there are other road users other than themselves then this type of tragic event will not be repeated. this is not an insult to the young man involved it is just an observation on the actions of cycists in the forest and the cycling fraternities post on this site.

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5:35pm Wed 16 Jan 13 KarlOnSea says…

geoff51 wrote…

Much as I feel sorry for the young man why is it assumed always that the motorists are to blame? there are a lot of idiots on bicycles that ride in the forest with no regard to the conditions on the roads, secure in the arrogance that they are above the law in their opinion. The sooner cyclists realise that there are other road users other than themselves then this type of tragic event will not be repeated. this is not an insult to the young man involved it is just an observation on the actions of cycists in the forest and the cycling fraternities post on this site.

Results from scientific studies (like this one: http://www.ncbi.nlm. nih.gov/pmc/articles /PMC3242541/ - if the link doesn't work just google "Identifying Risk Factors for On-Road Commuter Cyclists") show that cyclists are at fault in around one in seven incidents. People on bikes come from the same population as those driving cars. So it's not that cyclists are super-human angels, or drivers are universally evil! We're all prone to the same errors of judgement and occasional lapses in concentration. BUT... being on a bike, you don't have a ton or so of padding, crumple zones, ABS, airbags and seatbelts around you. The dangers you face on the road are more immediate, and despite the way a few reckless idiots ride, most people are very much aware of them. So most regular riders develop a sixth sense and learn to ride defensively. They do the things that the DfT recommends, like riding in the middle of the lane when the road is too narrow for a driver to safely overtake. When you're driving behind someone doing this sort of thing, it can seem perverse, yet failing to control the traffic around your bike can have tragic consequences: impatient drivers will do things that on sober reflection (or, say in a driving test, or when they know there's a police car behind them), they'd never even consider. Perhaps the best way to improve road safety for all would be the introduction of the mythical "steering wheel spike". Take away a driver's sense of invulnerability, and maybe people will start driving safely as a matter of course.

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6:45pm Wed 16 Jan 13 Torchie1 says…

befriendly wrote…

I often drive across the forest and I'm afraid to say it's not unusual to be over taken when sticking to the limit with some doing well over fifty. As usual we get the headline story to sell papers, but then nothing but a tiny, tucked away piece about any follow up or any convictions. There should be big headlines about about all convictions as I'm certain the thought of Jail or large fines might slow some drivers down or deter some criminal acts. I do applaud the echo for listing who's been in court recently, but a smaller front page headline about court appearances on page ? might make more people read them and take a little more care about what they do. It may even sell more papers due to neighbourly curiosity.

The reason you don't see many stories about convictions in the forest area is because there aren't any to report. There are much higher priorities placed on the Police than manning speed traps on the ten roads where they and the NFDC know people have been known to exceed the limit. As an aside, the Police will not prosecute for excess speed on these roads unless the driver exceeds 47 mph. Any report that is made will appear in the Lymington Times, a local paper that the Echo lifts stories from on a weekly basis.

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10:13pm Wed 16 Jan 13 Jesus_02 says…

geoff51 wrote…

Much as I feel sorry for the young man why is it assumed always that the motorists are to blame? there are a lot of idiots on bicycles that ride in the forest with no regard to the conditions on the roads, secure in the arrogance that they are above the law in their opinion. The sooner cyclists realise that there are other road users other than themselves then this type of tragic event will not be repeated. this is not an insult to the young man involved it is just an observation on the actions of cycists in the forest and the cycling fraternities post on this site.

idiot...this young man was part of a cycling club, actively involved in sports and was clearly intelligent You are wrong this most definitely an insult if you do nothing else today read the government guidlines issued to cyclists http://think.direct. gov.uk/cycling.html I am certain that as an active cyclist this young man would have been familiar with this information

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3:21pm Thu 17 Jan 13 geoff51 says…

Jesus_02 wrote…

geoff51 wrote…

Much as I feel sorry for the young man why is it assumed always that the motorists are to blame? there are a lot of idiots on bicycles that ride in the forest with no regard to the conditions on the roads, secure in the arrogance that they are above the law in their opinion. The sooner cyclists realise that there are other road users other than themselves then this type of tragic event will not be repeated. this is not an insult to the young man involved it is just an observation on the actions of cycists in the forest and the cycling fraternities post on this site.
idiot...this young man was part of a cycling club, actively involved in sports and was clearly intelligent You are wrong this most definitely an insult if you do nothing else today read the government guidlines issued to cyclists http://think.direct. gov.uk/cycling.html I am certain that as an active cyclist this young man would have been familiar with this information

This does not prevent others of the cycling fraternity from being idiots even if this young man was not!

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12:35am Fri 18 Jan 13 Ginger_cyclist says…

geoff51 wrote…

Jesus_02 wrote…

geoff51 wrote…

Much as I feel sorry for the young man why is it assumed always that the motorists are to blame? there are a lot of idiots on bicycles that ride in the forest with no regard to the conditions on the roads, secure in the arrogance that they are above the law in their opinion. The sooner cyclists realise that there are other road users other than themselves then this type of tragic event will not be repeated. this is not an insult to the young man involved it is just an observation on the actions of cycists in the forest and the cycling fraternities post on this site.
idiot...this young man was part of a cycling club, actively involved in sports and was clearly intelligent You are wrong this most definitely an insult if you do nothing else today read the government guidlines issued to cyclists http://think.direct. gov.uk/cycling.html I am certain that as an active cyclist this young man would have been familiar with this information
This does not prevent others of the cycling fraternity from being idiots even if this young man was not!

Most cyclists are NOT idiots, only a minority are, you idiot.

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