As I was working at my computer yesterday morning, I looked out of my window and I could see loads of police standing around on Queen Caroline Street. There was “Police Line. Do not cross” tape across the road. I couldn’t actually see what was happening but I suspected one of two things: the first was that there was some sort of hostage situation and the second was that someone had been killed. It was the latter.
The Fulham Chronicle reports
A CYCLIST has died after a collision with a lorry in Queen Caroline Street.
Police and ambulance crews were called to the Hammersmith street at 8.24am on Thursday morning to find the biker, believed to be a woman in her 20s, dead at the scene.
The road was closed for most of the day as traffic officers investigated the cause of the crash and quizzed witnesses.
A police tent was put up and a waste collection truck also cordoned off after the collision.
I suspect that the woman came out of Worlidge Street without looking and was hit by the refuse lorry. I see this sort of thing all the time on Queen Caroline Street: people on bikes not looking for other road-users when they’re dealing with a junction. They don’t creep and peep or they enter the minor road on the right instead of the left.
Of course, it may well be the driver’s fault. I’ve seen some shocking driving down there. The sight lines are terrible on parts of Queen Caroline Street and there are times when there are cars illegally parked on the corner of Worlidge Street and that little access road that runs between College Mansions and the council flats. But that wasn’t the worst of it. I once encountered a driver who had parked right across the entrance to the Peabody Estate – all because he was in a Mercedes.
I was out cycling earlier and as I was approaching the junction of the slip road outside the Hammersmith Apollo and Queen Caroline Street, I saw two blokes to my left: one of whom was wobbling in the middle of the road and the other was on the wrong side of the road. And no, the idiot in the middle of the road wasn’t cycling outside of the “door zone”. He was talking to his dizzy chum. This isn’t the first time that I’ve seen this kind of thing on Queen Caroline Street. It happens all the time. People get fooled into thinking that it’s quiet road. It isn’t.
Our condolences go out to the woman’s family.
UPDATE: 26/8/11 @ 1320
I found this article on the HF Cyclists site. The local police wrote this,
I have some more information regarding the fatal road traffic collision that happened in Queen Caroline Street on 28/04/2011 at 0820 hours. A cyclist was travelling north-east. When she was about 15 metres south-west from the junction with Worlidge Street the near-side of her bike hit a car that was correctly parked by the north-west kerb in the parking bay and fell off the bike. At the same time a refuse lorry was travelling south-west leaving a gap of 1.5 metres between it’s off-side and the row of parked cars (by the north-west kerb) at 15mph. The cyclist fell between the front and rear axles of the refuse lorry, went under the rear wheels and died as a result of her injuries.
The parking bay was fully occupied with parked cars. The weather was dry, about 15 degrees Celsius. There were no defects with the road or its layout that could have contributed to this collision.
I have looked at the collision statistics for 36 months to Dec 2010 and found that, whilst there were two collisions involving pedal cyclists nearby, neither were similar to this one; both involved the pedal cyclist making a right turn.
The police refuse to accept that the way the road is laid out contributed to the death of this cyclist. But I have talked to other cyclists about Queen Caroline Street and they tell me the same thing: the sight lines are terrible and many motorists drive inconsiderately along the street.