Thursday, June 11, 2015

Cyclist deaths, 1914 and 2015

Cyclists lay down in the road and blocked traffic on Monday night in Camberwell, to mark the death on 29 May of Esther Hartsilver. Esther , a physiotherapist at Kings College Hosptial, was killed when hit by a lorry while cycling close to the hospital in Denmark Hill. She was the sixth cyclist killed on London's roads this year.

photo from report in Independent

Sadly, the death of cyclists on our roads is not new. I recently came across a similar tragedy from a hundred years ago, with a Lewisham cyclist being killed by a hit and run driver  in Baring Road, Lee. The Daiily Mirror reported:

'Search for Owner of Car That Was Driven Off After Fatal Collision.

 '...the police were still without a definite clue to the motor-car which was involved in a fatal collision with two cyclists at Lewisham on Saturday night and failed to stop after the accident. The cyclists were Mr. Harry Tyrell, of Lewisham, and Miss Caroline Wells, who lives in the same road. Mr. Tyrell was fatally injured and Miss Wells badly hurt. Shortly before the collision a policeman saw a man and woman cycling from the direction of Bromley towards Baring road, Lewisham. A little later he saw a dark-coloured low, open car, with two men in it, proceeding in the same direction. The car had a powerful head light'. (Daily Mirror,Tuesday 14 April 1914).

Lets hope we don't have to wait another hundred years for the roads to be safe for cyclists.

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