Professor Maria Bitner-Glindzicz, 55, who was one of 12 cyclists killed in road collisions last year, was ‘side-swiped’ by a van driver opening his door directly into her, knocking her under the wheels of a taxi.
Dushal also supported the family at the inquest, which heard evidence that the van was parked on a yellow line some distance from the kerb, leaving little space to pass by it. The Coroner said that the van driver had parked ‘badly’ 1 metre from the kerb, creating a ‘hazard’. The Coroner told Prof Bitner-Glindzicz’s family that ‘she did not stand a chance’. The Coroner concluded that Prof Bitner-Glindzicz came off of her bike because of the opening of the door.
The van driver, 43, was initially charged by police with opening his door ‘so as to injure or endanger’ but died in his sleep two days before a court hearing.
Dushal said: “We continue to support any initiatives that will better protect cyclists using roads in London. This tragic case specifically highlights the need to examine certain roads that currently are not fit for purpose and every day put lives at risk.”
Prof Bitner-Glindzicz worked at Great Ormond Street hospital and conducted research at the UCL Institute of Child Health (ICH) into the genetic causes of deafness in children and adults.
Her work focused on Norrie disease — a genetic disorder that causes blindness or severe sight impairment at birth and can also cause progressive hearing loss in early childhood — and Usher syndrome, which also results in sight and hearing loss.
Professor Bitner-Glindzicz, who had two adult children, was investigating whether hearing loss can be treated through gene therapy. Patient groups described her as a ‘beacon of hope’.
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