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Amazing Escape In Cyclist/Lorry Crash in London Bridge

By jamesup Last edited 68 months ago
Amazing Escape In Cyclist/Lorry Crash in London Bridge


Word reaches us from the London Fixed Gear and Single Speed forum of an incredible escape for a woman on a bicycle near London Bridge Station:

...people started shouting "Stop! Stop!" and I could hear a rapid crunching/popping noise.

Turning round I saw an articulated lorry, driving toward the bridge.

On her back, knees bent and feet on the front bumper, was a lady who was being pushed along the ground by the lorry- her bike was just going under the front wheel which was the crunching/popping noise.

The driver was looking around him at all these people shouting "Stop! Stop!" and shrugging- his reaction was "they cannot be shouting at me", so he kept going.

It was probably all over in seconds, but it seemed to be a long time before he finally decided that the people (including myself) who were waving/pointing at him, the lady and shouting, did mean that he should stop.

The lady cyclist probably got pushed 2-4 metres, hard for me to judge and I'm wary of exaggerating.

When he stopped lots of people rushed over and escorted the lady to the side of the road, she was fine, just shocked, she said that she thought she had made eye contact with the driver at the lights, but then he'd just driven straight into her/over her bike.

Neil Hammet, the witness, is trying to reach the woman so he can assist her – if you are her please give us a shout in the comments below, or email us.

Had the woman had less then Spiderman-like reactions, she might have been the 14th cyclist to die on London's roads this year. Borough High Street is a TfL-controlled road, as was the Kings Cross/York Way Junction where Min Lee Joo died in similar circumstances earlier this month. The excellent King's Cross Environment site is championing changes at that particular blackspot.

Middlebrook Transport Ltd, who operate the lorry, were unwilling to make a statement when we called and wouldn't confirm the destination of the vehicle, though the large shard-like girders on the back may offer some clues...

Last Updated 18 October 2011

Corin Ashwell

If the drivers keep killing other road users we need to ban these HGVs from London roads during rush hour.

Alan S

"she said that she thought she had made eye contact with the driver at the lights"

So was she going through on red I wonder? Regardless, I hope she's ok.

Quentinjones

I was there cycling at the time of the accident and was hammering on
the side of the cabin as it went over the bike!

It really was horrendous.

There was no jumping red, the green light to right
Appeared and the Lorry went forwards before
the cyclist.

H.S.

This isn't going to be popular but...

So she parked her bike at the lights in the lorry's blind spot and assumed he'd remember he saw her in his mirror then disappeared from the mirror? This seems to be most of the causes of cyclists being killed by lorries. Cyclists should learn to give lorries a other large, hard to see around, vehicles a very wide berth. People need to be responsible for their own personal safety as much as lorry drivers need to be able to see around their vehicles a bit better.

Liz Almond

Terrifying photos, so glad that the woman escaped with her life. Yes, it's important to remember not to get on the left/blind side of HGV's at junctions, but it's very common for them to roll up next to you/behind you in the bike box. I always try and make eye contact with the driver stopped behind me, but they need to be *looking* and paying attention. "I didn't see them" is not an acceptable excuse for hitting someone.

Graham

The only legal right turn at the junction is in to London Bridge bus station, which makes it a delivery for either the London Bridge station works or the new building next to the Shard, which is called The Place. I'd reckon the latter.

(deliveries for the Shard worksite would go on the road south of the viaduct)

AMFM

I went past the aftermath on the bus yesterday morning and am so pleased to hear that the cyclist survived - I had assumed the worst.

Solomonsky

Recently in London cyclists have been killed by lorry drivers checking their paperwork whilst driving (Emma Foa) driving whilst drunk and on a mobile (Catriona Patel) and driving with faulty eyesight (Eilidh Cairns).  Any regular London bike commuter will have horror stories about lorry drivers who take stupid risks to save a few seconds. Personally I assume that all scaffolding and skip lorry drivers are sociopaths, I assume they don't care about human life so I get away from them as soon as I can.

Ashmfowler

I ride my bike every day. Im very much on the side of the cyclist, BUT...
Look how many mirrors that lorry has on its cab. An HGV driver must be very skilled, have 360 degree awareness and be able to make judgments about the road conditions way in advance. They cannot see what is in their blind spots, ( of which there are many) and as a cyclist, its our responsibility to know where these blind spots are. See new TFL campaign on the website. Ive been a passenger in a cab of an HGV driving through London and was able to give the driver an insight into my attitude to the road whilst cycling. All the places in which I would position myself, thinking it was safe, were in the drivers blind spots!! I now keep a very defensive approach to my positioning at a junction that has a lorry to deal with.

ZZoe

I cycle this way every day, and arrived just after the accident. There is an advanced stop box and the lorry would have been driving slowly as it's a very sharp turn he was about to do (or he was going illegally right, which is also fairly sharp). It's also going uphill.

There's really no excuse for the lorry to drive over this woman, and he would have killed her if she hadn't jumped off. It's just wrong to blame the cyclist and is basically saying she shouldn't have been on a bike in front of a lorry, which as far as I know isn't illegal.

I'm law abiding and never jump red, all those who do would have been safe and I'd have been squashed by this lorry if I'd been there  a few minutes earlier. If it was me I'd want him jailed.

jontie

Saw a similar truck - Middlebrook - turn left at Farringdon/Roseberry Ave junction without indicating today (08/12/11, about 9.40am). Looks like they're serial offenders.

Crump123

Well I for one is a lorry driver and for all you who think Lorrys shouldn't be aloud in London then do us all a favour because I bet 90% of lorry drivers would love to not go in. Then when you've got transit vans taking your food,clothes,fuel, etc etc into London good luck trying to afford it. We all get up at stupid o clock. Spend 15 hours a day on the road to keep your shops stocked with food etc etc whilst cyclists come flying up the inside of you after we've just over took them. Then the wounder why they get run over doing stupid stunts like that.

Ian Brett Cooper

Eye contact means nothing. When I've been cycling past a junction, I've had people smile at me before pulling right into me. I think the part of the brain that recognizes that there's a person in front of you is not well connected to the part that assesses risk to oneself, so drivers tend to pull out whenever they see no threat to themselves, without considering the threat they pose to others.

Cyclists need to learn to assess threats and modify their speed so that any potential threat is minimized. They also need to learn to ride well into the lane so they are more visible. I think curb-hugging and trying to stay out of the way kills more cyclists than any other factor.