The boyfriend of a cyclist killed at Kings Cross two years ago by a lorry has contacted road.cc to speak of his feelings following the inquest into her death.
Kenji Hirasawa attended Poplar Coroner’s Court, where he embraced the lorry driver who killed his girlfriend Min Joo Lee, known as Deep.
He said he had not however forgiven Terence Gibbs.
He said: “I can imagine how [the witnesses] suffer from the nightmare since they saw the accident. I told them 'Thank you for coming to the inquest today. And I want to say sorry instead of Deep because the accident brought you a difficult life.'
“It was the first time I saw the driver at the inquest. I kept wondering what kind of man killed my lovely Deep. And why he does not contact us to apologize. However I kind of understood him.
“I asked him if there were any words to Deep's family and me. And he told us "I am so sorry" and he told that he wants Deep alive again though it can't happen.
“I told him 'I should not forgive you. But I hope you can have a nice life later.'”
Deep, aged 24, died as a result of serious head injuries sustained at the junction of Pentonville Way and Gray’s Inn Road on 3 December 2011.
Gibbs, who had been driving lorries for several decades, told the inquest that the road layout was “outdated.”
He said: “It hurts believe me. I can remember what happened like yesterday. I am so sorry this has happened. I wish only for a miracle to bring the life of that lady back.
“I’ve done that route hundreds of times and I still do it now. You’ve got to make [the Gray’s Inn Road slip road] into one lane. There’s no cycle lanes – there’s nothing down there for cyclists. It’s winding me up.”
Mr Hirasawa warned that similar tragedies would occur unless the safety of cyclists was made a priority.
He said: “Transport for London is encouraging people to cycle more – but the roads are not safe enough. The environment is not safe enough. The same accidents are going to happen. I don’t think TfL are doing enough to make things better.”
Mr Hirasawa went on to tell us about his memories of Deep, and his decision to speak to the lorry driver who killed her.
He said: “Deep was the most kind and generous, strong woman in my life. She had been studying mens’ fashion at Central Saint Martins.
“I wanted to be like her. My words 'I should not forgive you. But I hope you can have a nice life later"' was not only my honest feeling, but I also considered Deep's feelings and personality at that time.
“She was truly kind and generous. I did not want to only blame him. Because Deep would not do it.”
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.