Skip to main content
Insight

Dushal Mehta discusses the inquest of geneticist Maria Bitner-Glindzciz killed cycling in London

Dushal Mehta
20/08/2019
The coroner presiding over the inquest of Professor Bitner-Glindzciz this August heard evidence from witnesses to the accident, from the police and from the taxi driver who fatally injured the mother of two after she fell into his path in September 2018.

While delivering a narrative verdict, senior coroner Mary Hassell very specifically included that the van driver who opened his door directly into the Professor was dangerously parked a long way from the kerb. She said he simply did not look before he opened his door, effectively 'side-swiping' her and causing her death.

Ms Hassell told Professor Bitner-Glindzciz's husband David and daughter Helena who attended the inquest that the Professor was cycling well and was visible but that 'she did not stand a chance'.

On behalf of the family, we will work with insurers of the vehicle driven by the delivery man, who has subsequently died, and the taxi to pursue compensation for the Professor's death. Above and beyond that claim, we were able to support the family at inquest and enable comments to the press that should strongly impact safety policies in London.

Professor Bitner-Glindzciz, who worked at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, was one of 12 cyclists killed in road collisions last year. A further 770 were seriously injured, up 14 per cent year-on-year — a situation described by Transport for London as 'unacceptable'. There have been three cycle deaths this year.

David was critical of Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, for underspending his cycling safety budget by around £142m, believing that if the correct measures had been in place, his wife would not have died. Campaigners have previously highlighted St John Street in north London where the accident happened as unsafe because of its uneven surface and lack of space with cars parked on both sides.

I join David's heartfelt hope that some determination will follow to overhaul our attitude towards road safety and put measures in place to prevent further tragedies devastating lives in the future.

Sign up to our email digest

Click to subscribe or manage your email preferences.

SUBSCRIBE