Francis ‘Titch’ O’Sullivan died of ‘serious traumatic brain injury’ in Sutton Valence pram race on New Year’s Day
PUBLISHED: 16:47 06 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:16 06 April 2017
Organisers have refused to say either way whether the race will continue next year following the tragedy
A delivery driver who tragically died after a crash in a charity pram race on New Year’s Day suffered a serious traumatic brain injury, an inquest was told.
Francis O’Sullivan, 52, known to friends and family as ‘Titch’, died at King’s College Hospital in London on January 3 after falling from a pram during the annual race in Sutton Valence, near Maidstone.
Assistant coroner Chris Morris told the inquest at The Archbishop’s Palace in the county town on Wednesday the death of Mr O’Sullivan, of Turgis Close, Langley, was accidental, and a result of him sustaining injury to the brain.
His sister, Jeanette, described Mr O’Sullivan as her “beautiful brother” while friends paid tribute to a “supreme character”.
Some 500 people were in attendance for the event in January, which sees dozens of locals dress up in fancy dress as teams of three to raise money for charity.
Two members of the team push the third member, named the ‘baby’, around the village course in a themed pram or go-kart, stopping to drink a half pint of beer at each of the pubs that line the route.
The rules of the race dictate that at all times two team members must be pushing and must be in physical contact with the pram and the ground, no pushers are to ride on the pram, only the ‘baby’ who must remain in the pram at all times.
The main race consists of one lap of the village circuit ‘dry’ and the second lap to be ‘wet’ - meaning a beer is to be drunk at all three pubs, the Queen’s Head, King’s Head and Clothworkers’ Arms - on the second lap.
The circuit begins at The Green, heading east along Lower Road, up Rectory Lane, along Broad Street and High Street returning to The Green along Lower Road.