PC Kevin Flint died in pheasant strike crash

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PC Kevin FlintImage source, Thames Valley Police
Image caption,
PC Kevin Flint had been with Thames Valley Police for 27 years

An off-duty police officer died in a motorbike crash after hitting a pheasant, an inquest heard.

PC Kevin Flint, 52, a Thames Valley Police neighbourhood officer based in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, died on his way home from work on 15 January.

The bird had struck him in the "upper chest or throat", Hertfordshire Coroner's Court heard.

His motorbike hit a recovery vehicle in a lay-by on the A41 between the Chesham and Tring junctions in Hertfordshire.

The officer had been driving his green Triumph Trophy at 16:06 GMT when two pheasants flew across the road, the inquest heard.

Deputy coroner Graham Danbury, who concluded PC Flint had died in a road traffic crash, said the officer "did not stand a chance".

"He was travelling on the road and something completely unpredictable happened with the consequence that he lost control of his machine and consequently went across to the lay-by and struck a hard unforgiving object," Mr Danbury said.

He added that while PC Flint had been travelling at around 83mph, his speed was not a factor in his death.

'Old-school copper'

A post-mortem examination found PC Flint had no alcohol or drugs in his system.

The father-of-two, who lived in Tring, had been with the force 27 years.

In a family tribute, PC Flint was described as a "lifelong, passionate, highly-experienced motorcyclist".

He began his Thames Valley Police career in Chesham and spent most of his time there but also spent periods in Prestwood, Amersham and Taplow.

His brother Derek described him as "an old school copper" and "a real people person".

PC Flint's partner Lynn McGill said: "His passion was to be with the local community where he could work face-to-face talking to the public and making a positive difference in people's lives."

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