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Vigil tomorrow for NHS COVID-19 nurse killed while cycling in Edinburgh

Tomorrow's memorial comes as anger mounts over road safety in Scottish capital, with three-year-old killed yesterday after driver mounted pavement...

A vigil will be held tomorrow for an NHS nurse who volunteered to treat COVID-19 patients and who was killed following a collision involving a van last week. Meanwhile, there is shock and anger in the Scottish capital following the death of a three-year-old child yesterday when a driver mounted a pavement and crashed into a charity shop.

36-year-old James Harrison, a lead cardiology research nurse, died in hospital from injuries sustained in the crash which happened on Mount Vernon Road at the junction with Gilmerton Road and Kingston Avenue at 8.45am on Thursday 25 June.

The vigil, including a one-minute silence, will be held at that location at 8.45 tomorrow morning, exactly a week after the fatal collision.

The Facebook page invites people to: “please come to respectfully observe with appropriate social distancing a minute’s silence for the tragic passing of much loved father, husband and volunteer ICU nurse James Harrison.”

In a post on Facebook, Stop Killing Cyclists Edinburgh said: “Another tragic and needless death on Edinburgh's roads. There will be a minute's silence at the junction of Mount Vernon Road and Gilmerton Road at 8:45 am on Thursday 2nd July - exactly one week after the incident.

“Please come to respectfully observe with appropriate social distancing a minute's silence for the tragic passing of much loved father, husband and volunteer ICU nurse James Harrison.”

Besides his nursing career, Mr Harrison was an official for Scottish Athletics and was also team manager for Corstorphine Amateur Athletics Club in Edinburgh. He had previously been an age-group triathlete representing Great Britain.

In a Facebook post, Scottish Athletics said: “All at Scottish Athletics were shocked and saddened to learn of a tragic bike accident in Edinburgh which led to one of our officials, James Harrison, being killed.

“Corstorphine AAC athlete and team manager, James was one of our up-and-coming Start Team members and his mother, Annette, is another member of that team.

“We send our deepest condolences to his wife, Dr Rowan Harrison, their two young children and all the rest of the family as well as his friends in athletics and beyond.”

NHS Lothian's executive director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Healthcare Professionals, Professor Alex McMahon, said: “It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of our colleague James Harrison.

“James was a much loved and well respected member of the NHS Lothian team working as a lead research nurse in cardiology.

“In recent months, James volunteered in our intensive care unit to support the Covid-19 response, demonstrating his enduring commitment, compassion and determination to support both patients and staff.

“James will be truly missed by all the colleagues he worked alongside, and by the wider research community here in Lothian and across Scotland.

“From everyone at NHS Lothian, we offer our heartfelt condolences to the Harrison family. Our thoughts are with James’s wife and two young children at this truly difficult time,” he added.

The past week has also seen two other incidents in which people were seriously injured - one involving an adult male cyclist, the other a seven-year-old child who was on foot - with tomorrow's vigil also set to call on safer space across the city for vulnerable road users.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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