One of the cyclists who died during last November’s spate of fatal collisions had almost twice the legal driving limit of blood alcohol when he rode in front of a bus, the inquest into his death heard yesterday.
Khalid al-Hashimi was riding back to St John’s Wood after celebrating his 21st birthday with friends in Whitechapel on November 13.
He was hit by a 205 double decker bus at about 11.30pm after riding the wrong way up Leman Street, a one-way street leading to Whitechapel High Street, reports the Evening Standard’s Ross Lydall.
CCTV video from the bus showed that Mr al-Hashimi appeared suddenly 10m in front of it, and driver David Brennan had no chance to avoid the cyclist.
Poplar coroner’s court heard that the post-mortem examination revealed Mr al-Hashimi to have 154 milligrams of ethanol per 100 millilitres of blood. The driving limit is 80 milligrams.
Collision investigator PC Andrew Smith said Mr al-Hashimi may have been confused by a wrongly-angled red light in the centre of Whitechapel High Street used by traffic turning right into Commercial Street.
Coroner Mary Hassall asked if it would have made any difference if Mr al-Hashimi had been wearing a helmet.
Pathologist Dr Chin Along said: “I don’t think so. Bicycle helmets, the way they are designed, are not for velocity injuries.”
Ms Hassell recorded that Mr al-Hashimi died as a result of road traffic collision. She said: “It may be that Mr al-Hashimi saw the cars stationary and saw the red light and thought the cars were being held at the red light, and thought it was safe to cross.
“But nevertheless this wasn’t a pedestrian crossing and he [the bus driver] didn’t stop, and that is why the collision occurred, I’m very sorry to say.”
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.