A MINOR CYCLE collision turned a Majorcan holiday to tragedy when the son of a Romford taxi driver died of his injury. It ended with Spanish officials allowing the boy’s body to be taken from the holiday isle for a “practically unique” inquest England.
Sixteen-year-old Gary Conway and three other boys hired cycles to tour the island and had to pull up sharply to avoid a lorry.
Gary, of eastern-avenue East, Romford, was jabbed in the back with the handle-bars of a friend’s cycle.
His back bled a little but it looked like a small cut.
But when the family and friends had dinner at their hotel Gary went over to his parents’ table and complained of backache.
The Romford inquest last week cleared the Spanish hospital team of any liability.
Pathologist, Dr Alan Grant, said the hospital could not be expected to diagnose the condition “because it is more or less a unique happeniung.2
And Coroner Mr Harvey Kenshole said: “it seems to me that the clinical acumen is probably of a high order.”
For doctor’s diagnosed Gary’s condition as near as was possible by looking at the unusual X-ray.
The boy’s father, Mr. Martin Conway, told the inquest he took Gary upstairs-the bruise looked lager and he had difficulty in breathing.
Gary was given a prescription for suppositories but his father had trouble getting them dispensed and had to go to Palma.
He was given the suppositories and tablet and went to bed, and his parents went for coffee.
ONE OF THE OTHER BOYS TOLD THEM Gary had been screaming with pain and they had called a doctor and Gary was taken to hospital at Palma by taxi.
He died on the day they were due to leave for home-after Gary’s father tried to give him the kiss of life.
Mr. Conway asked if the body could be brought back to England.
Coroner, Mr. Harvey Kenshole, said: “This inquest is a practically unique one for it is most unusual for a coroner in England and Wales to hold an inquest upon a death which has arisen in an incident in a foreign sovereign country which has its own forms of law.
“There are certain circumstances in which it is reasonable for the coroner to hold such an inquest and after I had discussed the matter with the Home office I was given a free hand to do as I saw fit.
“The handlebar of a companion cycle struck the boy’s back on the right hand side causing damage which was extremely complicated to unravel. In using my discretion I did not think it necessary for a jury to be here to hear this evidence.”
“And I find that this was an accidental death.”
Gary, a Havering Technical College student was buried at Waltham Abbey.
Dr. Grant, from Guy’s Hospital said the post mortem revealed that bleeding was caused by a tear in the wall of a man blood vessel.
He said: “This is a somewhat unique occurrence and possibly the flexibility of a young spine would make this a little more likely than in an older person.
“Death must have occurred as a result of some curious mechanical circumstances of the temporary distortion of the spine”.
The cause of death was rupture of the aorta due to injury.
Gary’s cousin, warehouse assistant Anthony Giles, aged 17, of Mashiters Hill, Romford, went on holiday with Conway’s and saw the collision.
He said the cycles were similar to the ones in this country and he saw Gary struck by the handlebar of the other bike as they took a slow ride back from a trip to an airfield.