Date: 31 May 1948
Place: Wrantage, Somerset
Frederick John Sealey died after being found unconscious in the road on top of his bicycle near Wrantage.
It was thought that he had been hit by something.
An open verdict was returned at his inquest stating that he died from injuries received from an unknown source but that his injuries were too great for just a fall.
Frederick Sealey's wife said that Frederick Sealey left home at 9am on 31 May 1948 to cycle to Taunton to visit a dentist. She noted that he was not a heavy drinker but said that about two months earlier he had fallen down by the roadside.
The landlord of the Wheelwright's Arms in Wrantage said that Frederick Sealey came in at 12 o'clock and stayed until about 2pm during which time he had three pints of cider. The landlord said that Frederick Sealey also mentioned to him that he had already had a pint of beer at the Nag's head. He said that when Frederick Sealey left he saw him get on his bicycle and ride away in a normal manner, noting that he took a 1.5 pint bottle of cider away with him. The landlord noted that he noticed that the brakes on Frederick Sealey's bicycle were ineffective.
He added that he would not describe Frederick Sealey as a heavy drinker but did say that he was used to cider and that three pints would not have affected him.
A man from Nythe Farm in North Curry who had been driving a motor-van that belonged to Messrs Hawkes and Sons Ltd said that he found Frederick Sealey lying on his chest astride his bicycle. He said that he was unconscious and bleeding from his nose and mouth. He added that Frederick Sealey still had his intact bottle of cider with him in his left-hand jacket pocket. The man added that he did not hit Frederick Sealey with his van.
Another man from Eastleigh Road in Taunton who was also in the motor-van said that he gave first aid to Frederick Sealey and also went to fetch a doctor.
Frederick Sealey was taken to Taunton Hospital where he died later the same day.
A policeman that went to the scene said that the surface of the road was rough for a pedal cycle and said that there was a slight gradient at the place where he was found. He noted that the brakes on Frederick Sealey's bicycle were useless and that his bicycle had been damaged in the accident.
The police added that they had examined cars known to have passed the scene of the accident and had made a broadcast appeal for other witnesses to come forward, but without success.
A pathologist from Taunton that examined Frederick Sealey's body said that his cause of death was due to a depressed fracture of the right temple bone, a fracture of the right base of skull, contusion and wounding of the brain and multiple fractures of the ribs. However, he said that he did not think that his injuries were consistent with an ordinary fall from a bicycle and said that he thought that Frederick Sealey had been struck by something projecting. He added that he had never known such severe injuries to have resulted from a fall itself.
see Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser - Saturday 12 June 1948