Cyclist sandwich
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Cyclist sandwich

London : United Kingdom | Jun 24, 2010 at 3:57 PM PDT
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Cyclist Sandwich

This cyclist had a dramatic escape from her lunchtime collision with a lorry. As she undertook the left hand turn from Great Dover Street in to Borough High Street in London, the lorry continued its manoeuvre in the same direction - sandwiching her and her bike up against the curb and causing her to fall.

Pedestrians watched in horror as her bicycle began to disappear beneath the vehicle. Screams from the cyclist and the public alerted the driver who eventually stopped mid turn. Miraculously the cyclist fell towards the curb.

The police were quick on the scene – having to come only a few yards away from their station also in Borough High Street. The driver was clearly shocked as he went through his version of events with the officers. He explained he had given a wide birth, mindful of the junction’s constraints, mainly the pedestrian island in Borough High Street which is surrounded by railings. This effectively limits a vehicle’s speed through the turn to ensure pedestrians crossing Borough High Street can do so safely. His body language and gestures clearly demonstrated his frustration with the junction. He had limited vision because the truck did not have side mirrors to capture the view from the curb side.

Unlike many cyclists who move away before the green signal thus preventing conflict with big vehicles turning left, this female cyclist moved after. Because cyclist move slower than motor vehicles they are unlikely to clear such a junction before a lorry begins its turn. This causes the two vehicles to collide. Cycling campaign groups have asked for police leniency with cyclists at junction so that they can move forward before the green signal - to avoid these types of accidents.

Fortunately on this occasion the cyclist eventually fell away from the vehicle while her bike disappeared underneath. Her good fortune was assisted further by Transport for London’s policy of reducing street clutter as the railing on the walk way had recently been removed. This effectively helped with her escape as the open space meant she fell onto the pavement rather than being squashed completely by the truck into the railings.

She received medical attention within minutes. Her right leg was placed in a cast and she was given breathing support which initially appeared to help her with shock. Within 20 minutes she was safely removed from the scene by ambulance.

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Cyclist sandwich
The cyclist fell and the bicycle disappeared underneath the lorry.
MzLashmore is based in London, England, United Kingdom, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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