An off-duty Chesham police officer who was killed in a motorbike crash died after being hit by a pheasant whilst riding his bike at 83 miles an hour, an inquest has heard.

PC Kevin Flint was travelling home to Tring from a shift at Chesham Police Station on January 15 when he was struck by a pheasant in his “upper chest or throat”, Hertfordshire Coroner’s Court heard last week.

According to the BBC, the much-loved police officer – who was just three years away from retirement – crashed into a stationary recovery vehicle in a lay-by at around 4pm after two birds flew across the busy road in front of him.

Deputy coroner Graham Danbury, said the father-of-two, who was riding his green Triumph Trophy at the time of the horror crash, “did not stand a chance”.

He said: "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."

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

A post-mortem examination also concluded that PC Flint did not have any alcohol or drugs in his system and his death was ruled as a road traffic crash.

The 52-year-old’s brother Derek, an ambulance officer with South Central Ambulance Service and a Special Inspector with Thames Valley Police, said PC Flint was an “old school copper”.

He said: “He was a real people person. He got ultimate respect from his colleagues and the community and obviously made a lot of friends along the way.

“Sometimes I would work alongside Kevin in both my roles and I did that with great pride. It was a real honour to stand shoulder to shoulder with him.”

Hundreds of people paid their respects to the well-loved PC at his funeral in February. Members of the public joined alongside officers and staff from the emergency services as the funeral cortege travelled to Amersham Crematorium on February 7.

More than 350 attended the funeral service, including hundreds of colleagues from the blue light services. A Guard of Honour was held as the cortege arrived at the crematorium.

After the funeral, PC Flint’s family said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who attended the service to celebrate Kevin’s life with us.

“He will be so sadly missed by all. In particular we would like to thank Kevin’s ‘police family’ for all they have done in supporting us through this terrible time.

“So many of his friends and colleagues came together today to remember him and to say their goodbyes.”