A CYCLIST who may have seen a woman fall to her death is being urged to come forward as part of the investigation.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has described the man as ‘a crucial witness’ and is appealing for him to come forward to help.

The inquiry relates to the death of a 50-year-old woman who fell from Hownsgill viaduct near Consett, on Thursday August 10.

The witness is a white male cyclist believed to be around 50 years of age of stocky build and wearing a T-shirt, sunglasses and a cycling helmet.

It is believed the cyclist may have seen the woman fall from the viaduct at around 10am that morning.

An IPCC spokesman said: “Following a mandatory referral from Durham Constabulary, the IPCC is investigating the contact the police may have had with the woman prior to her death.”

“The IPCC has already identified two other cyclists who witnessed the tragic event and continues to carry out other lines of enquiry.

“The viaduct is known to be a popular spot for cyclists, as it is situated on the coast- to-coast cycle path, so the witness may not live locally.”

Anyone with any information about this incident can contact the IPCC on 0800-151-0020, or via: hownsgill-viaduct@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk