Fatal cycling race inquest told of ‘chaotic’ scenes after Mountbatten Centre velodrome crash

Richard Phillips-Schofield
Richard Phillips-Schofield

A BIKE race organiser told an inquest he suffered a seizure after witnessing a horrific collision that killed a policeman.

Tim Knight rushed on to the Mountbatten Centre velodrome on March 9, 2014, after a ferocious 35mph multi-bike pile up that resulted in PC Richard Phillips-Schofield’s death.

The 33-year old, who was a four time national champion, suffered severe head and chest injuries and was pronounced brain dead two days later at Queen Alexandra hospital on March 11.

Describing the moment the accident took place after the bell for the final lap, Mr Knight, of Racing Club Omega, said he leapt into action after the chief referee ‘froze’.

He told the inquest jury at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court: ‘The chief (referee) just froze and stood at the bottom of the steps.

‘I jumped down and was blowing my whistle to try and stop riders,’ he said.

‘I remember shouting “crash, crash” and went over to the scene where there was three people on the floor and called for the ambulance.’

Mr Knight, who suffers with epilepsy, said he then passed out following the stress of the ordeal.

‘I started to feel unwell and went white and had to sit down.

‘The incident is very hazy and is a nightmare to try and revisit.’

Mr Knight also told the inquest there were 42 riders in the race which was within the permitted 45. He had also checked the circuit was safe to race on.

Mr Knight added that despite organising races since 1980 it was rare to get head injuries.

‘Very seldom do riders hit their head on the ground – injuries are normally to the thigh and arms caused by sliding,’ he said.

Paramedic Robert Sredzinsky said he turned up to a ‘chaotic’ situation with Mr Phillips-Schofield in a serious condition. ‘The patient was very ill and everyone was concerned. Richard’s eyes were open and he was in a confused and agitated state with blood coming from his mouth,’ he said.

He added: ‘He rapidly deteriorated in a few minutes and had suffered massive head and chest injuries.’

Pathologist Dr Adnan Al-Badri said Mr Phillips-Schofield suffered severe chest and head injuries including a brain haemorrhage that led to his death.

(Proceeding)