Weston cyclist, 26, dies after minor fall

A 26-YEAR-OLD man has collapsed and died following a minor fall while on a mountain biking trip in New Zealand.

Philip Bergman, from Weston, was among a group of 10 people taking part in a downhill bike ride in the Cardrona Valley.

New Zealand police say they had just started out when he had a minor fall from his bike.

He stood up and immediately collapsed again.

Attempts were made to resuscitate Mr Bergman before a medical team arrived by air, but he was declared dead at the scene.

Friend John Consitt, 30, was with Mr Bergman when he died last Monday and has described him as a “top bloke” whose greatest passion was mountain biking.

“He started having a seizure or a fit of some sort and it lasted for a few minutes,” he explained.

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He said Mr Bergman was struggling to breathe.

Mr Bergman had lived in New Zealand’s Dunedin since he travelled to the country to follow England’s Rugby World Cup matches in September last year.

“I met him seven months ago in a hostel,” explained Mr Consitt. “He was always smiling and got on with everyone. He was just a top bloke.”

Mr Bergman’s father, Harry, had hoped to visit New Zealand for the first time later this year for a holiday with his son. Instead he arrived to repatriate his son’s body to England.

“I think the reason he came here was because there’s such a diversity of [adventure lifestyle opportunities],” he said.

“Everything that was presented to him through his friends was a challenge and he wanted to do it ... that’s what he was all about, he wanted to test himself.”

Meeting Philip’s friends and hearing about the mark his son had made on so many people’s lives had been particularly special, Mr Bergman said.

“It’s mind-blowing knowing that my son’s touched everybody’s heart.”

Philip had no pre-existing medical problems, and preliminary reports from the post-mortem examination ruled out brain trauma and cardiac arrest, Mr Bergman said.

“We just can’t get our heads around why this has happened. He was gung ho at everything and physically fit enough to tackle all sorts of obstacles regarding physical activity.”

* Information supplied by the Otago Daily Times, New Zealand.

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