An inquest has heard that the lorry that killed Ying Tao at Bank junction on June 22 last year indicated for less than two seconds before turning left. City of London police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to bring criminal charges against the driver, Lee Williams, on the grounds that the evidence did not meet the necessary threshold.
City of London coroner's court was yesterday told that Tao was hit by Williams’ 32-tonne truck after both pulled away from traffic lights. The London Evening Standard’s Ross Lydall has tweeted that Williams began indicating 1.44 seconds before turning left, the indicator flashing just twice.
As well as CCTV footage, a cyclist who was behind the victim told the inquest that he was “angry” that neither the tipper truck nor a taxi behind it were indicating while waiting at the lights.
Ian Hamilton said: “As the light changed, I looked forward and noticed that both the tipper lorry and the cab behind it had both started indicating left. I wasn’t aware of either of these vehicles indicating left beforehand. I remember being somewhat angry that either of these vehicles were trying to turn left.”
PC Tim Harryman, the collision investigator for City of London police, said:
"Ms Tao came up the left-hand side of the truck. She stopped in the short (lead-in) cycle lane, beside the cab of the tipper. She couldn't enter the cycle box at the front because it was full of cyclists already.
"Once the lights changed to green... Ms Tao started to cycle slightly to the right-hand side, close to the left-hand side front of the tipper. The tipper's left-hand (door) step made contact with the rear wheel of Ms Tao's pedal cycle... and subsequently ran it over."
He said that her white helmet would have shown up in the driver’s mirrors but her black coat would not have been as easy to see. He also said that she may have been wearing earphones while riding.
Another witness, Karen Florencio, said:
"I noticed that the cyclist was wobbling quite dramatically, though I hadn't seen what had caused that. Shortly after that, I thought immediately if that carries on, she is going to come off or go under.
"Then it just appeared she almost seemed to get sucked under the middle set of wheels of the lorry. Within seconds she just seemed to disappear underneath."
After a six-month review, the City of London Police and the CPS decided there was insufficient evidence to secure a conviction.
They concluded that the standard of driving had not fallen below that of a “competent and careful driver” required for a charge of causing death by careless driving and also established that the lorry had no defects at the time of the collision.
Following Tao’s death, both the London Cycling Campaign and Stop Killing Cyclists organised vigils at the junction, which the City of London Corporation now plans to bar to all motor vehicles other than buses between 7am and 7pm.