Cyclist 'waved desperately' at lorry driver before fatal accident

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Cyclist 'waved desperately' at lorry driver before being knocked off her bicycle and killed

An inquest has heard that Eleanor Carey, 22, of Peckham, desperately tried to get the attention of a lorry driver who knocked her off her bicycle, killing her instantly.

The charity worker and art student was hit at the junction of Abbey Street and Tower Bridge Road on December 2, 2011. The area is a notorious accident blackspot in Bermondsey.

Southwark Coroner's Court was shown CCTV images earlier this week from a bus that was behind the lorry.

Bus driver Helen Henry said she saw Ms Carey waiting at traffic lights to the rear of the HGV and watched as both pulled off.

She said the driver was indicating to turn left. But "unfortunately Ellie didn't realise until she saw the lorry getting closer and closer. She tried to wave to get the driver's attention, then she got knocked off her bike".

When asked if the HGV driver stopped immediately, she said: "no" and added, "I believe he kept proceeding onwards."

The HGV driver, David Johnson, then 31, was investigated by police at the time for causing death by careless driving but died of cancer before a decision could be made about charging him.

Pc Andrew Smith, who investigated the collision, said 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," he added.

But he also said the lorry's indicator should have been seen, and she may have been listening to the radio: "Ellie 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."