lost her Court battle for a fresh inquest to investigate "the huge problem" of cycling deaths in London." />

Sister Loses Fight over Cycle Death

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Eilidh Cairns was riding through London's Notting Hill Gate in morning rush hour traffic on 5 February 2009 when her bike was trapped by a tipper truck.  Seriously injured she lay under the wheels of a 32 tonne vehicle still conscious but died hours later after being airlifted to hospital.

The Coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death. Her sister asked the Coroner to quash the verdict and order a fresh inquest as there was a failure to consider the wider impact of Eilidh's death and the huge problem facing cyclists in London.

The Judge rejected the application as he did not feel a fresh inquest would reach a different verdict.

The family felt that the Coroner appeared unwilling to explore any issues which related to how the truck driven by the Portuguese lorry driver came to collide with Eilidh's bike!  The Coroner failed to comply with her statutory duties to fully, fairly and fearlessly investigate the facts surrounding the incident.

The sister felt that a proper inquest was vital to help stop the growing number of cyclists deaths involving lorries.

The lorry driver pleaded guilty at Kingston Magistrates Court to a charge of driving with defective vision.  He received 3 points on his licence and was fined £200.00.  He claims he did not see Eilidh. Unfortunately this type of accident seems to be getting more and more common.  There are more and more foreign drivers with left hand drive vehicles who clearly don't have the vision to see other cars when changing lanes, let alone cyclists!

In 2009, 9 cyclists were killed by HGV lorries, 8 of them were women. Surely the penalty for causing death should be higher than 3 points on your licence and a £200.00 fine.

What is your view?

Kaye Mansbridge

Legal Executive - Personal Injury team

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