A CYCLIST was hit by a car when his bicycle chain came off on a dark country road, an inquest heard.

Father-of-one Jacob Joseph, 39, was dressed in dark clothes and had no lights on his cycle when an Audi A3 struck him on the A415 Abingdon Road at Burcot on March 25.

Mr Joseph, of Lodden Avenue, Berinsfield, who was not wearing a cycle helmet, suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

After the inquest last Wednesday, his family called for better street lighting and urged cyclists to fix lights and reflectors to their cycles.

Eyewitness Andrew Rogers was outside the Chequers pub when he saw Mr Joseph cycling to work at The Close care home shortly before 9pm.

Mr Rogers told coroner Nicholas Gardiner: “He came to difficulty when halfway across the road and his chain came off.

“I remember thinking, ‘Mate, you need to get off the road. Put your foot down and start scooting or something.’”

Moments later, a car with dipped headlights and driven within the speed limit, struck Mr Joseph.

The driver, Gordon Nisbet, of Leach Road, Berinsfield, told the hearing he had seen no one in the road when the accident happened.

He said: “All of a sudden, I felt a thud coming from the right. The car swerved and I brought it to a halt.

“I didn’t know what caused it.

“I thought one of the kids had thrown a brick.”

He said he never broke the 30mph limit because he knew the road was dangerous.

Ruling Mr Joseph’s death an accident, Mr Gardiner said no one would ever know whether the cycle had broken down before the crash.

Mr Joseph, also known as Saji, came to Oxfordshire from Calicut, in India, in 2007 to join wife Molamma, who also worked at the care home.

The couple’s first child, daughter Dania, had her first birthday last month.

After the inquest, his brother Jojo Joseph, 34, from London, said: “The council definitely needs to make that road safe. There should be a pedestrian crossing or lights.

“There is a pub, and a lot of employees working at the care home that cross that road.”

He also urged other cyclists to take extra care and fix lights on their cycles, even when travelling short distances, and thanked friends and family for their support.