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Video: Right-turning van driver crashes into cyclist – but escapes prosecution

Matt Cooper, who sustained a serious shoulder injury, supplied CCTV footage of crash filmed from nearby pub to the Met, but no action taken

A London cyclist sent police footage of the moment he was knocked from his bike last September as he rode through a junction by a van driver who was turning right, leaving him with a serious shoulder injury – but police have told him they will not be taking action against the driver.

The cyclist, Matt Cooper, tracked down CCTV footage filmed from a nearby pub of the shocking crash and forwarded it to the Metropolitan Police.

However, he was told that no further action would be taken since “there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of prosecution.”

The crash happened as the 53 year old, who was on his way to meet friends for a ride in Surrey, was filtering past queueing vehicles, with the van driver, who had been travelling in the opposite direction, taking advantage of a gap in the traffic to turn right.

The impact destroyed his bike and resulted in him sustaining torn ligaments in his shoulder, which he is still receiving treatment for more than five months later.

Matt told road.cc: “Despite providing detailed CCTV footage to the police showing the van to be clearly at fault, they have decided not to charge the driver. This I am afraid is all too typical.

“I was riding west on New Kings Rd at 8am, on Saturday 26 September 2020. It was a clear and bright morning with very light traffic.

“As I passed Parsons Green, the van turned right across traffic without signalling, and hit me on the right side as I crossed the intersection of the junction with Peterborough Road. 

“I was knocked to the ground and unable to move, while the driver got out of the van and started shouting at me about ‘fucking cyclists’. When I finally did get up, I photographed his licence plate and took his insurance information.

“I was then taken to the ER, where I was diagnosed with a grade 3/4 shoulder separation. Meanwhile, the police said there was nothing they could do without witnesses.”

He continued: “I managed to obtain CCTV footage from the pub on the corner, but the police, even with that evidence, have written to me saying they would not charge the driver (see attached letter).

“Now, five months later, I have had extensive physical therapy and a series of steroid injections. I am still in constant low-grade pain, which increases when I cycle and makes it difficult to sleep.

“I am afraid this is all too typical of what happens when cyclists are hit and injured, and I hope increased coverage might change some attitudes,” he added.

His story has gained exposure in the mainstream media, including the Mail Online and The Sun.

The letter Matt received from the Metropolitan Police saying that they would not be referring the incident for prosecution added that “The decision does not affect any civil action you may wish to initiate.”

He confirmed to the Daily Mail that he will be bringing such an action, saying: “It will be a big claim. My bike was worth £10,000 and so far the claim would be for about £30,000 when my medical expenses are taken into account.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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