Cyclist Died In Collision With HGV Lorry

14/08/2014 16:54 | Updated 22 May 2015

Boris bike strike

A mother cried out in horror as she watched CCTV footage of her daughter being dragged to her death under a HGV as she rode a bike in London.

The harrowing film was played to a court to show the last moments of Philippine De Gerin-Ricard, 20, as she cycled on one of London Mayor Boris Johnson's bikes in July.

She became the first user of the bike hire scheme to die since its introduction three years earlier.

Coroner Mary Hassell suspended the hearing at Poplar coroner's court to allow Ms De Gerin-Ricard's mother time to recover from the shock of seeing the images, which she warned were 'very, very graphic'.

Mrs De Gerin-Ricard asked to see the footage again and her family hugged as they viewed it through their fingers.

The images had been recorded by a rear-facing camera on the lorry, which was being driven by Richard James.

Ms De Gerin-Ricard's mother, Anne Boudet du Mochet, reacted angrily when TfL's lawyer suggested that the absence of high-visibility clothing was to blame for the crash.

She told the coroner: "The accident Philippine had was the straw that broke the camel's back.

"There is a problem with cycle lanes. If anything had been done, it hadn't been helpful to cyclists.

"I have heard that the clothing cyclists wear, and Philippine was wearing, was discussed here.

"In fact, what needs to be tackled is the provision of proper lanes for cyclists, so that cyclists are protected."

The court was told that Ms De Gerin-Ricard had cycled on the pavement before moving to the road and undertaking the lorry.

The driver would have had less than four seconds to spot her in a rear-view mirror, police said.

Witnesses told the court there was not enough room to allow Ms De Gerin-Ricard to undertake the lorry.

Bus driver Richard Brown said Ms De Gerin-Ricard 'seemed to wobble slightly'.

He said: "At one point she fell backwards and came over more to her right side, into the road."

Asked by the coroner what had caused the collision, he said: "I really feel there was not sufficient space for Philippine to attempt to pass the lorry.

"If there is going to be a cycle route it needs to be kerbed off or some kind of similar arrangement, particularly at busy junctions like Aldgate."

Mr James, who had 22 years' experience as a HGV driver, said he had not seen the cyclist prior to the collision.

He said: "I became aware of a tinkling sound, a rattling, which I thought was my mirrors catching on the scaffolding.

"Then I see what had happened. I see in the mirror that a young lady was tumbling back off her bike." The case continues.


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