ONGAR: Brian Ward becomes second cyclist in a week to be killed on district's roads
A 70-year-old from Ongar has become the second cyclist to die on the district's roads in the past week.
Brian Ward, of Springfield Gardens, died in hospital after a collision with a Mercedes van in Epping on Thursday afternoon, while out cycling with fellow members of Hainault Roads Club.
The club's general secretary, Bill Godfrey was riding behind Mr Ward.
"We had finished our ride, been to lunch and were on the way home," he said. "We were coming down the hill and making sure there was plenty of space between us."
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"There is a blind bend and when I came around the corner Brian was on the road.
"Two or three of us were trying to speak to him but he wasn't conscious."
Mr Ward had been a member of the club for 10 years and was its time-trials secretary.
"He was a very nice person, hardworking and very efficient in his role," said Mr Godfrey.
Following the accident at Houblons Hill, Epping, the grandfather was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow where he died from his injuries.
The van driver, a 52-year-old from Harlow, was unhurt.
Mr Ward's death comes just a week after Steven Rodway, 38, from Brentwood, was killed as he cycled along Ongar Road in Stapleford Tawney.
Tracy Beckley, 45, of Coopersale Street, watched on as paramedics and police arrived at the scene of the latest accident.
She said: "I saw a few local people and some cyclists gathered around and a man in the road with a blanket over him.
"We get loads of cyclists on this particular route through to Ongar and surrounding country lanes. I don't think they realise how dangerous it is."
The number of accidents involving cyclists has sparked a warning from police, who fear the rates could rise further as more people take to their bikes.
Essex Police senior traffic manager Adam Pipe said: "It is quite a worry at the moment. Cycling is an activity that is enjoyed in rural areas and more and more people are taking it up.
"With the cost of fuel rising, more people are turning to push- bikes as a way of getting about."
He continued: "Even experienced cyclists need to be aware that cars on rural roads can be travelling at up to 60mph. They must really concentrate, listen out and expect the unexpected.
"But it's not just down to the cyclists, drivers also need to be more aware."
Any witnesses to the collision, which took place at around 2.45pm, should call 0300 333 4444.