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Fatal incident happened just after 7.30pm last night by Olympic Park

A 28-year-old male cyclist was last night killed by a bus transporting members of the media between two Olympic venues. The cyclist has been named this afternoon as Dan Harris from Wanstead.

The fatal incident took place at 7.33pm at the junction of the Eastway and the A12 East Cross Route, a little to the west of where the latter swings south to form the Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach Road.

That junction is close to the northwestern corner of the Olympic Park, where the Main Press Centre is located, and it is understood that the bus was heading from there to the ExCel Arena at the Royal Docks.

A Metropolitan police spokesman said a man in his mid-60s was arrested just outside the Olympic Park at 9.28pm on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

A date for a postmortem examination is yet to be fixed.

A Reddit user who claimed to have been a witness to the incident wrote an account online, which he has since taken down.

He said:

As I was cycling home from work tonight a guy, maybe in his late 20's, was cycling level with me and as we approached a bus he went inside while I held back. The lights changed as he was in the buses blind spot and as he was attempting to go straight the bus turned left. He didn't really have anywhere to go and no time to do anything anyway...

It is so dangerous out there guys. But for a single choice that poor guy would have made it home tonight. Don't skip at lights when they look clear, don't try to squeeze past heavy vehicles to save a few seconds. Never be afraid to live your life to the fullest, but be careful and be aware of the dangers around you. Be safe everyone.

Meanwhile Bradley Wiggins stoked the helmet debate a little more by saying at a press conference when he heard of the tragedy:

"Ultimately, if you get knocked off and you don’t have a helmet on, then you can’t argue. You can get killed if you don’t have a helmet on.

"You shouldn’t be riding along with iPods and phones and things on. You have lights on. Once there are laws passed for cyclists then you are protected and you can say, ‘well, I have done everything to be safe."

"It is dangerous and London is a busy city. There is a lot of traffic. I think we have to help ourselves sometimes."

Many interpreted Wiggins' comments as being his being supportive of compulsory helmet laws, but he took to Twitter this afternoon to clarify them, saying: "Just to confirm I haven't called for helmets to be made the law as reports suggest. I suggested it may be the way to go to give cyclists more protection legally I [sic] involved In an accident. I wasn't on me soap box CALLING, was asked what I thought."

On Sky Sports News at lunchtime, world champion Mark Cavendish was asked whether he believed helmets should be made compulsory. He declined to provide a straight answer to that question, but outlined that he certainly wouldn't ride without one.

Cavendish however repeated comments he made earlier this year that the UK should consider implemeting no-fault liability for road traffic incidents involving vulnerable users such as cyclists, similar to rules in some continental countries, and also said ""We've got to increase the infrastructure for cyclists."

The collision is being investigated by the Met's Police's road death investigation unit.

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.

81 comments

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 3 years ago
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Stagecoach are doing most of the team and media buses. So I'm guessing that would be right.

Sad story, just heard Lineker reading it out, declared dead on the scene around 7.45  2

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giff77 [1191 posts] 3 years ago
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Thoughts with the family at this time. RIP  2

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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BBC News report this morning showed a clip of Wiggins being asked about the incident and whether he thought it was safe to ride around London.

He respondend by stating that he thinks helmet wearing should be compulsary under law and that use of iPod's/phones while cycling made illegal.

Expect the Daily Fail to jump on this now that Wiggins has got involved even though from the sound of it the poor cyclist in question was dragged under the bus and a helmet would probably have made little difference.

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Sarah Barth [86 posts] 3 years ago
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He respondend by stating that he thinks helmet wearing should be compulsary under law and that use of iPod's/phones while cycling made illegal.

Gosh, that tarnishes my opinion of Wiggo. Then again, I love him for his legs, not his brains.

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andybwhite [248 posts] 3 years ago
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I am slightly concerned that this thread includes a witness statement which may prejudice any fair investigation of this incident. Were a trial be in progress then I imagine that this would count as contempt of court and make the owners of this site liable to criminal prosecution.
I suggest you remove it and stick to reportable basic facts.

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Sarah Barth [86 posts] 3 years ago
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andybwhite wrote:

I am slightly concerned that this thread includes a witness statement which may prejudice any fair investigation of this incident. Were a trial be in progress then I imagine that this would count as contempt of court and make the owners of this site liable to criminal prosecution.
I suggest you remove it and stick to reportable basic facts.

Hi Andy
Until there are any criminal charges there is nothing to worry about re. contempt of court.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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There's two ways to look at Wiggo's comments.

1) Common sense - Cycling can be dangerous and cyclists should do everything to keep themselves safe including the use of lights in the dark (which is mandatory), high-vis clothing and wearing safety gear like helmets. Once we do everything to keep ourselves safe then the responsibility is on motorists etc.

2) Damaging 'the cause' - Making helmets compulsary would re-enforce the image of cycling as dangerous and put people off riding, likewise if motorists see a cyclist in a helmet they may feel that they can pass closer and generally not worry as much about safety.

Putting aside the fact that cycling is dangerous in London I still think that Wiggins has a common sense point. Helmet's can help keep you safe, why wouldn't you wear one?

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nevman [18 posts] 3 years ago
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Very sad story on the day of a triumph.Eyewitness account isnt a contempt as there are no proceedings yet and no one can guess the outcome.Very useful reminder not to pass inside heavy vehicles at junctions,and for all drivers to check their mirrors.
Would have been handy for Brad to say that cyclists and traffic need to be separated by barriers but I guess he was doing his best on the spot to protect cycling from criticism.

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Coleman [331 posts] 3 years ago
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Why on Earth did Wiggins have to say that? That poor bloke was crushed under a bus and Bradley has to mention helmets?

Utterly terrifying account from the witness. Well done for trying to comfort the victim. I'm not sure I would be the composed.

Such a sad thing to happen.

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farrell [1950 posts] 3 years ago
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Shall we press charges against Brad and his kids for riding helmetless during his recent celebrations?

Crass, stupid comments from Wiggins.

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andybwhite [248 posts] 3 years ago
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Sarah Barth wrote:

Hi Andy
Until there are any criminal charges there is nothing to worry about re. contempt of court.

Sarah, you are wrong.
Criminal proceedings become active as soon as someone has been arrested (which the driver has) and reporting restrictions then apply.

This witness statement if read by a witness could be considered as prejudicial to that witnesses testament to the incident.

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Simon E [2544 posts] 3 years ago
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Coleman wrote:

That poor bloke was crushed under a bus and Bradley has to mention helmets?

It's the culture he's grown up in - blame the victim.

A helmet won't stop you getting crushed by a bus! Better driver training, better enforcement and, most importantly, a sea change in drivers' attitudes towards vulnerable road users. THAT is what Bradley should be arguing for.

It has been demonstrated (among other things) that helmet compulsion doesn't work and that wearers may indulge in risk compensation.

Did a helmet 'save' this cyclist? No.

From this article by Joe Dunckley.

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A V Lowe [568 posts] 3 years ago
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I cycled along Eastway past the Media centre and the whole road layout there has been compromised to accommodate the media centre traffic. Eastway was 1-way with contra flow cycling but I think canal bridge not suitable for coaches & buses, so they have had to create 2-way with narrow lanes to get out.

Stagecoach does have the contract for Games Family coaches/buses, so it is likely to be Stagecoach driver if not Stagecoach bus/coach.

The description is of the 180 degree full lock hairpin turn to join the A12 Westbound - the Junction is East of where the A12 turns South to join A102(M)there is a VERY confusing junction arrangement with 2 Games lanes which suddenly appear as you cycle East on Eastway, a direction originally contra-flow to all motorised traffic, but a seriously compromised arrangement has been put in place to get the intensive flow of coaches 7 buses through the media centre/games family 'bus station' and car park access at this point.

To head straight on safely here you should be cycling in the offside Games lane and the nearside lane was I think (but not clearly) signed for the left turn on to the A12.

Should really get a camera so I could have recorded my route through. On Eastbound pass I think I had to make coach driver turning right (up same slip road from other direction) aware of my presence with theoretical priority to go forwards here.

Only picture I took was the daft bollard - too busy staying alive perhaps to take pictures of road layout - and if I had been I'd probably have been chased as a terrorist.

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A V Lowe [568 posts] 3 years ago
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NB First has contract for public bus shuttles but buses from far & wide and drivers from all bus operators contracted to First.

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thereandbackagain [162 posts] 3 years ago
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How exactly is a helmet supposed to help if you're dragged under a bus?

Being crushed by commercial and construction vehicles kills a disproportionately high number of cyclists, certainly in London. It's massive internal organ damage that kills them, as horrific as that sounds.

Next time a pedestrian is killed by a car can the BBC get hold of Paula Radcliffe and ask her about the need for people out walking to wear Hi-Viz and body armour?

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Jamrock [3 posts] 3 years ago
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A helmet wouldn't have saved him. Not cycling alongside the bus might have (if the witness is correct).

Every day in London I see red light jumpers and cyclists undertaking lorries or trying to push past at the lights when they are only going to be overtaken seconds later and they would be safer to stay behind.

I'm really unsure of how we improve things. As cyclists we have the same rights on the road as other vehicles and yet we are not, as a group, as disciplined as other drivers and many take ridiculous risks when they are at most risk of injury/death.

The problems are evident, solutions not so much.  22

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm guessing Brad didn't have much info on the incident, and was therefore commenting rather generally about cycling in London rather than this incident, so "wear a helmet" is a valid opinion, although it wouldn't appear to make the difference in this situation. So so sad.

Agree though that the account is "utterly terrifying". Wonder if the bus was indicating?

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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In fairness to Wiggins he probably didn't have all the facts, didn't have time to prepare an answer and didn't really know what was being asked. Assuming the questions was just a 'someone was killed cycling in London tonight, is London safe to cycle in' then you can justify his answer of effectively 'No' with caveats of being as safe as possible by wearing helmets etc.

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Some Fella [890 posts] 3 years ago
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Wiggins is basing his opinion on helmet wearing on his own experiences. He probably sees the benefit of one because he rides at great speed and in groups where coming off is constant danger and has seen that a high speed crash can lead to head injuries
I doubt he rides in rush hour urban traffic at slow speeds on a commute.
This poor fella who died was ran over by a bus and no helmet in the world was going to save him.
Wiggins helmet comments, which he has made before, are unhelpful to those of us who choose to not wear one and only add to my growing feeling that legislation is on the horizon.

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ColT [277 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm continuing to hope for a sea change in public attitudes towards cycling safety. I just sent this to Brian Cookson. If anyone can get it to influential people within the Sky organisation, feel free to forward the link:

http://fiftyyearsandcounting.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/wiggins-speaks-out...

Colin

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gazzaputt [207 posts] 3 years ago
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Agree with above I to doubt Wiggo had been told of the details of the accident.

Wiggo speaking his mind and is nothing I for one support his statement.

As adults we have a choice but c'mon under 16s should have to wear a helmet. That way you grow up and don't know any different.

My little man who is 3 now rides on two wheels and has had a helmet since I bought him a balance bike at 18 months (pushy dad eh?  21

Now when he rides a bike it is natural instinct to wear the helmet.

What ever the argument helmets prevent injury and I know from personal experience.

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fatbeggaronabike [760 posts] 3 years ago
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Wow talk about hero to zero Mr. Wiggins comments are his own thoughts/opinions and he is entitled to them however to say what he said (and more importantly When) was at best ill conceived but before I go completely ballistic, one question, how much information was he given before he said all that tosh.

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Grizzerly [253 posts] 3 years ago
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If the witness statement is correct, the cyclist was at fault. The bus driver would have had no knowledge of his presence and the rider had put himself into the hazardous situation. It is very sad, but we must not get into the mind-set which says 'cyclists are NEVER to blame'.

On the subject of helmets, this rider would not have been saved by a helmet and there is no mention of his wearing or not wearing one. If you read the specifications for cycle helmets, they are designed to protect in single vehicle accidents at speed below 10mph. In other words, if you fall off at low speed. In most cases they will not protect you at higher speeds and may well exacerbate the injuries received.

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sc129806 [43 posts] 3 years ago
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Terribly sad news.
I support Wiggins comments. Its all common sense...

If you block out the sounds of the road by wearing headphones or listening to music you give yourself little chance of hearing danger.
If you dont wear a helmet you risk serious head injury.
If you dont wear hi-viz clothing or use dont use lights in the dark you wont be seen easily.
If you jump red lights you could collide with a vehicle / somebody.

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Jamrock [3 posts] 3 years ago
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"If the witness statement is correct, the cyclist was at fault. The bus driver would have had no knowledge of his presence and the rider had put himself into the hazardous situation. It is very sad, but we must not get into the mind-set which says 'cyclists are NEVER to blame'."

That's what I was trying to say. Thank you.

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Simon E [2544 posts] 3 years ago
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Jamrock wrote:

As cyclists we have the same rights on the road as other vehicles and yet we are not, as a group, as disciplined as other drivers and many take ridiculous risks when they are at most risk of injury/death.

Not as disciplined as drivers? You're pulling my leg!

Yes I know there are cyclists who don't look before pulling out etc but the DfT says cyclists are not at fault in 93% of incidents.

We don't charge around in 2 ton box at speed talking on the mobile/reading maps/staring at the pratnav (which often obscures the windscreen), taking manoeuvres that risk others' lives as well as their own. I cycle defensively but it doesn't stop drivers pull moves that put my life at risk. What more can I do?

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montonero [1 post] 3 years ago
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thereandbackagain wrote:

Next time a pedestrian is killed by a car can the BBC get hold of Paula Radcliffe and ask her about the need for people out walking to wear Hi-Viz and body armour?

Cannot agree more.

On a side note, I've decided to travel myself to the olympic park recently and found the whole route quite dangerous. I wrote an account of my experience here: http://montonero.co.uk/cycling-to-the-greenest-olympics-ever

But nothing new there, really: lack of infrastructure is appalling.

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Some Fella [890 posts] 3 years ago
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I think a more useful comment from Wiggins would be to warn cyclists not to ride up the inside of large vehicles.

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OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 3 years ago
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Brake's press release on the incident is interesting - no mention of helmets in its reporting of Wiggo's comments:

National charity backs Wiggins’ appeal for safer cycling, and calls for safety measures to enable active lifestyles

Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins has called for safer cycling following the tragic death last night of a 28 year old cyclist, who was run over and killed by a coach close to the Olympic Velodrome. Wiggins commented that cycling in the capital can be dangerous, and there needs to be more ‘give-and-take’ between drivers and cyclists. He advised cyclists to do everything they can to keep themselves safe and argued cycle helmets should be mandatory.
Brake, the road safety charity, is campaigning for key measures to protect cyclists and pedestrians, to prevent devastating casualties and make it safer for people to enjoy active, sustainable lifestyles, including:
• Widespread 20mph limits in towns and cities and lower limits on rural roads, to give drivers more time to react and more chance of avoiding collisions
• More traffic-free and segregated cycle paths, especially on key commuter routes and connecting homes and community facilities
• Safe pavements, footpaths and crossings in communities

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, says: “We echo Wiggins’ calls for cyclists to do everything they can to protect themselves, but it’s also critical that far more is done to make roads safer for cycling and walking. We are appealing to government and local authorities to give greater priority and investment to enabling people to walk and cycle in their own communities without their lives being endangered. We need more widespread 20mph limits, and safe routes for people choosing these healthy and sustainable forms of transport.
“If we are to encourage more active and sustainable lifestyles, and enable more children and adults to take up sports like cycling and running, we need our streets to be more cyclist and pedestrian friendly.”

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OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 3 years ago
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Cycling up the inside of a large vehicle even while it is at rest is a risky manoeuvre. As the witness statement says, it is safer to keep behind and wait. I feel sympathy for the family of the victim - but if the incident occurred as described then the blame will be shared - to what degree that is so will be decided in court.

A lot of the fatalities involving cyclists and large vehicles occur when the large vehicle makes an unexpected manoeuvre such as cutting across a lane without indicating or when indicating very late. Neither a helmet nor the bodyarmour I wear for BMX racing would give adequate protection in an incident with a large vehicle as decribed in this article. For the moment the witness account may not be considered predjudicial to any court case, but it would probably be advisable to take it down shortly as it is quite possible it will be copied by those less aware of the laws.

I note the coach involved was for transporting members of the media. I wonder if this will have an effect on the reporting, given that there were may have been more witnesses?

I cyclec into the centre of London last night with my wife and neither of us bothered with helmets. I note Wiggo's son was not wearing a helmet when he rode down the street in Paris alongside his father while celebrating the Tour win. Paris is a busy city and has a higher rate of fatal road accidents than London, so perhaps Wiggo should consider that fact - throw, shouldn't, glass house, stones - and all that.

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