Husband of cyclist who died taking a selfie: My wife could be alive today if she had been wearing a helmet

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The husband of a woman killed when she was thrown from her bicycle minutes after taking a selfie said today that a helmet could have saved her life.

Carmen Greenway, 41, fractured her skull after losing control of the bike less than 300 yards from her home in south-west London as she rode back from her mother’s birthday party.

The graphic designer, who worked with her husband Rufus Greenway at their audio and visual company, had drunk two cocktails and four glasses of wine at a local pub, an inquest into her death heard.

But she was not wearing a helmet and may have been riding relaxed and one-handed when she fell, suffering fatal head injuries, the hearing was told.

She died six days later at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington after suffering an epileptic seizure and going into cardiac arrest.

Fatal accident: Carmen Rafferty with her family (PA)

Mr Greenway, an amateur racing cyclist, told the Standard: “The only thing I could possibly say to anyone who would wish to ride a bicycle without wearing a helmet: it’s not a personal thing you should be thinking about, it’s the people you leave behind. 

“I just think common sense should come into play. Maybe it would have stopped what we had to go through as a family.”

Mr Greenway said his wife, who was born in New Zealand, was a “proficient, active, happy cyclist”. He added: “When she rode her racing bike she wore a helmet. But when she rode her other bike 120 metres from home, that’s when she suffered a fractured skull.

‘Loving mother’: Carmen Rafferty’s family paid tribute to the wife and mother

This was a local night out when taking a bicycle was more convenient than taking a taxi. And something went quite seriously wrong.”

Mrs Greenway, a mother of two, had been taking selfies as she cycled home in a group from The Crown in St Margaret’s on August 18 last year. 

Her husband, who was in Moscow that day, said: “She didn’t take a picture and then suddenly fall off her bike and die. She took a picture and then 10 minutes later, when she was riding down a side road, she applied the brakes and her wheel went out from underneath her. This was a terrible accidental death.”

Southwark coroner Shirley Ratcliffe said: “The death of Carmen Greenway was as a result of a tragic accident.”

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