Case Study

21-year-old cyclist Maria Karsa died after collision with tipper truck in Aldgate (15/09/13)

A cyclist suffered head injuries after a collision with a tipper truck on the morning of Sunday 15th at 07:55am.

The collision occurred at Houndsditch junction.

  • UPDATE (04/10/13)

Nursing assistant Maria Karsa, 21, died a week after the incident after being taken off life support.

Police are still appealing for witnesses and no one has yet been arrested.

  • UPDATE (23/05/14)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have decided not to charge the driver of the tipper truck.

  • UPDATE (29/05/14)

Maria Karsa was killed in collision with a Crossrail contractor’s lorry, the Standard has revealed.

The HGV was removing materials from the new Crossrail station at Liverpool Street when it collided with nursing assistant Maria Karsa at Aldgate last September.

Two of its three side sensors — fitted under safety measures imposed by Mayor Boris Johnson — were not working and the driver had been using a hands-free mobile phone.

It is believed to be the first cycle fatality involving a vehicle working on the £16 billion cross-London train link.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute after reviewing CCTV evidence and deciding that the 41-year-old driver, who has not been named, did not fail the standard of being a “competent motorist”. The lorry had diverted off its approved route due to roadworks.

City of London coroner Paul Matthews recorded a verdict of accidental death in March. He said that it could only be proved that the phone line was open just prior to the collision, and not that the driver had been speaking on the phone. It is not an offence to use a hands-free device. Nor is it an offence to have faulty sensors, as they are fitted voluntarily.

A Crossrail spokesman said: “We remain deeply saddened by the accident that caused the death of Maria Karsa. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.

“Tragic incidents such as this demonstrate the importance of continuing to focus on safety standards. We are continually looking for ways to improve HGV safety and have recently introduced tougher measures.”

CTC's view: 

CTC believes hands-free phones should be banned when driving. A Transport Research Laboratory study concluded that driving behaviour is impaired more during a phone conversation than by having a blood alcohol level at the UK legal limit (80mg / 100ml).

Advice for bereaved relatives:
Bereaved relatives who are unsatisfied with a Crown Prosecution Service decision not to prosecute can request that the decision be reviewed under what is known as the ‘Victim’s Right to Review’. For more information on this right and the process involved see http://www.cps.gov.uk/victims_witnesses/victims_right_to_review

Bereaved relatives are invited to contribute to a joint inspectorate into road death investigations and prosecutions currently being conducted by Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate and Inspectorate of the Constabulary. A request to participate should be sent to HMCPSI.DataCollection@HMCPSI.gsi.gov.uk

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  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Gordon Seabright
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541
  • CTC Charitable Trust: A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.5125969. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1104324 and Scotland No SC038626