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Cyclist dies after swooping magpie causes bike crash

An elderly cyclist has died after a freak bike accident caused by a swooping magpie near an Illawarra beach on Sunday morning.

Witnesses reported a 76-year-old man was riding a pushbike on an off-road path that runs along the length of Woonona beach shortly after 8am when he swerved off the path to avoid a swooping magpie.

The man then collided with a fence post and was thrown to the ground, police said in a statement.

He sustained serious head injuries and was treated at the scene before being flown to St George Hospital in a critical condition.

The man died of his injuries on Sunday evening.

A police spokesman confirmed he had been wearing a helmet.

Officers from Wollongong Police District are investigating the incident, and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

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