Case Study

Orla Lawlor, 27, killed while cycling in Bedford

Incident date: 
Sun, 22 Apr 2012

Orla Lawlor, from Cambridge, was cycling with fellow members of a cycling club when she was hit by a car driven by a 29-year-old man.

The crash occurred on Edworth Road, near the A1 south of Biggleswade at 10.45.

Other members of the club were witnesses to the crash.

Orla was originally from Bennettsbridge, County Kilkenny, but had moved to Cambridge to work as a solicitor.

  • UPDATE 13/11/12

The driver of the car which killed the cyclist Orla Lawlor when she fell into its path said he didn’t have time to prevent the accident. Orla Lawlor, of Rustat Road, Cambridge, died after falling from her bicycle in front of Thomas Willis’ car in Langford, Bedfordshire, on April 22.

An inquest heard Miss Lawlor, 27, was riding with a group from Cambridge Cycling Club when she suddenly lost control of her bike just as Mr Willis’ car was passing by in the opposite direction.

Mr Willis said: “I just saw this cyclist fall out on to my side of the road, it all happened in just a split second. I didn’t see her wobbling, she just fell.

“I felt the impact, but it all happened very quickly and I lost control of the car and went across the road and into the field.”

The inquest, held at Bedford Coroner’s Court, heard Miss Lawlor’s wheel may have clipped the back of a bicycle riding in front of her.

Susan Taylor, Miss Lawlor’s riding partner, said: “We were just talking and as I looked over at her I saw her front wheel very close to the bike in front.

“I didn’t even see the car, she must have just clipped the wheel and gone into its path. I heard this noise and we all stopped and we knew something terrible had happened.”

Deputy coroner Bob Amos recorded a verdict that Miss Lawlor’s death was the result of a road traffic accident.

He said that Miss Lawlor – who moved to Cambridge from Ireland to work as a solicitor – was much loved by her family and friends, was an outgoing person, and was an outstanding academic.

As the News reported, Miss Lawlor was a medical negligence solicitor at Tees Solicitors in Castle Street and, as well as being a keen cyclist, was also a member of Cambridge Triathlon Club.

She was a keen horse rider and hockey player, and was the daughter of All-Ireland winning senior hurler Pat Lawlor.

She was originally from Bennettsbridge, County Kilkenny, and moved to Cambridge after graduating in law from Limerick University.

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