Southampton Cyclist Dies After Crash in New Forest


A cyclist has died after a collision with a car in the New Forest at the weekend.

25 year old James Atherton, who had been studying for a PhD in Medicine at Southampton University and lived on Burgess Road, tragically died in the early hours of Monday at Southampton General Hospital. He sustained serious injuries in a crash with a car just hours before a race on Sunday, January 13.

He had been riding with a group towards Pennington when the accident happened at 10.50am in Pitmore Lane, Sway, and was taken to hospital by air ambulance where he died shortly before 2am the next morning.

The crash involved a grey Volkswagen Golf, and the driver was a 57-year-old man from Evesham in Worcestershire. He was driving towards Brockenhurst, and escaped the incident unharmed.

James was a Sports Bursary Student at Southampton for Long Course Triathlon. His Sport and Wellbeing Profile listed his greatest achievement as finishing 5th in the European (20-24 age group) Long Course Triathlon Championships.

STC (Southampton’s Triathlon Club) posted on their website: “Some very sad news has come in regarding James Atherton, who was a club member for a short period of time for 2010-2011.”

“He was involved in a collision with a car and, in spite of being airlifted to hospital, has died of his injuries.”

“James was only 25 and was a strong and experienced cyclist. A really terrible thing to have happened and STC offers its condolences to his family.”

STC have recently updated with this post:

“James was a member for about 18mths up to March 2012.  He was a strong swimmer and a particularly strong cyclist which is why I think he chose to focus his training efforts with VC St Rapahel.”

“He was a quiet club member, and modest enough that it now transpires that he raced for GB in the ETU Long Course champs in 2011 without us being aware.”

Police have appealed for witnesses to contact them on 101 quoting Operation Baroque or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The Wessex Scene will be updating this article as more information becomes available. We offer our heartfelt condolences. 


I come from South West London and am studying English at Southampton. I am interested in journalism and considering it as a career after my degree. I have interests in Sports and Music and have written for a sports magazine called Sportsister before. I am keen to get involved in as much as possible whilst at Uni and writing about my experiences could be a very rewarding thing. :)

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