Schoolgirl, 14, died after 'wobbling' and hitting van on bike ride with her police officer mum

A 14-year-old schoolgirl was killed after “wobbling” and crashing into an oncoming van on a bike ride with her police officer mum.

Caitlin Swan was cycling with her mum down a hill near a south coast beauty spot, when she fell off her bike and was crushed by a van coming towards her.

The teenager suffered a “wobble” on her road bike as a van turned off in front of her and her mum, Victoria, the inquest heard.

A witness said Caitlin's cycling helmet "exploded into fragments" as the van hit her after falling from her bike.

The teenager was an experienced rider, and was believed to be going around 20-25mph down Tubbon Hill, near Stithians in Cornwall, when the crash happened in December 2019.

Her mum, a police constable, said in a statement to the hearing that Caitlin was in front of her as a van was turning off left as they rode down the hill, and doesn’t remember seeing her hit the van.

She said: “She must have thought the van was turning quicker but it didn't. Caitlin got a wobble on and locked up. I don't recall her hitting the van."

Her mum added: "It knocked her back and never stood a chance. Caitlin was still attached to her bike."

“Desperate attempts to save her were made by Victoria and people at the scene but she could not be saved.”

"She died doing something she loved. She lived life to the full."

Their bikes were serviced and checked by them before they went out for rides and they wore helmets and proper cycling gear, the coroner was told.

Caitlin and her twin sister Lamorna were saving to go to on a trip to America and she was also a keen scuba diver and hockey player.

The inquest at Cornwall Coroner's Court continues.

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