Fatal Accident - Abbey Street / Tower Bridge Road

Amount claimed: Not Disclosed
Accident date: Friday 02 Dec 2011


Ms Carey was killed when she was knocked down by a left turning lorry at the junction of Abbey Street and Tower Bridge Road.

Injuries / damage


What happened?

CCTV images from a bus behind the lorry showed Ms Carey approaching the traffic lights to the rear of the HGV. The driver of the bus described how Ms Carey didn’t realise the HGV was turning left until she saw the lorry getting closer and closer. Ms Carey tried to wave to get the driver’s attention, but was then knocked off her bike. The HGV driver remained unaware of her presence, didn't stop immediately and continued to creep forwards. Ms Carey died instantly.

The officer who investigated the collision, said Ms Carey had a clear view of the lorry ahead of her and should have been aware it was indicating left. She should not have moved along its nearside but waited behind it for him to complete the turn. She may have been listening to the radio while cycling and if she was, that might have been a distraction to her. He also mentioned that Ms Carey would have been visible in at least one of the lorry’s nearside mirrors for seven seconds. “I have not found a reason why (the driver) failed to see her during the seven seconds.”

The HGV driver was investigated by police for causing death by careless driving, but died of cancer before a decision could be made about charging him. He had received three texts on his BlackBerry four to five minutes before the crash. Levenes Solicitor, Kevin O’Sullivan representing Ms Carey’s family, suggested at the inquest that the first moment he would have had to look at them was when he stopped at the lights which may have explained why the driver did not see Ms Carey in the mirrors.

The coroner returned a verdict of death by road traffic collision.

Kevin O'Sullivan goes on to comment on the safety of these large vehicles in relation to more vulnerable road users, "This tragic case highlights how HGV's need more than just mirrors. At a minimum, an audible alarm on the outside of the vehicle when turning left for pedestrians and cyclists. Sensors that trigger an alarm inside the cab for the driver also need to be in place to make these vehicles safer for cyclists."

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