Friday, 23 October 2009

Rebecca Goossen's death ruled ‘an accident’

ROAD safety campaigners have expressed alarm after a coroner ruled that the death of a 29-year-old cyclist in a collision with a 32-tonne lorry in Finsbury was an accident. Rebecca Goossen, a trainee architect, died in a crash with a cement mixer at the junction of Old Street and Goswell Road as she cycled to work on April 9.

The lorry had begun to turn left at the junction when the cyclist, who was travelling straight on, was caught on the inside. Collisions investigator Mark Crouch told the inquest it was “entirely possible” that the cyclist was either partly or completely obscured to the driver, despite the vehicle being fitted with “all the appropriate safety measures”.

Dr Reid said: “The vehicle was fitted with the correct measures for its type. But it is not possible to exclude the possibility that she was sitting in one of the few blindspots that remain despite these measures.”

Cycling campaigner Cynthia Barlow said, “His ruling shows a too-ready acceptance of the existence of blindspots as something that cannot be avoided. There is no such thing as a blindspot. There are difficult-to-see spots, but there are measures that can be taken to make drivers aware of vehicles on their inside. Clearly, such measures would have saved this young girl’s life.”

Ms Goossen’s tragic death is the latest in Islington to involve a cement-mixer lorry. Community activist Lisa Pontecorvo, 64, was crushed to death as she wheeled her cycle in front of a cement mixer in Holloway Road in September last year. And in December 2006, cyclist Emma Foa, 56, died after colliding with a left-turning cement-mixer lorry in Camley Street, King’s Cross.


Emma Foa’s death was unequivocally the fault of the driver.