Battersea cyclist killed squeezing down side of lorry
6:10pm Monday 10th November 2008 in News
A cyclist who died in Battersea this year was hit by a lorry after trying to squeeze down the side of it, an inquest has found.
Paul Hendrich, 36, was cycling near the curb in Battersea Park Road on January 16 when his handlebar clipped the vehicle.
PC Peter Traylor, investigating, told the court the impact knocked Mr Hendrich into the adjacent railings and then back into the lorry.
Deputy Coroner Dr Robert Prescott said: “We are looking at a very good cyclist and a very experienced driver. Both were experienced road users.
“But in this environment we had a poor road surface. There wasn’t really a suitable space between the lorry and the curb to make a safe manoeuvre.”
The accident happened at the junction with Prince of Wales Drive where the lorry driver stopped and became distracted by a silver car turning around in front.
Shane Isaacs, who has been a driver for ten years, told how he did not see the cyclist when he checked his side mirrors and started to move off.
He did not check his close proximity mirrors because he was very near the curb and assumed no-one was there.
He said: “I heard a metallic noise which I assumed was a problem with my load at the back.
“I thought I’d get past the junction and then stop.”
Witness Cary Cole was on her way to work at Battersea Dogs Home at around midday when she saw the cyclist collide with the lorry.
She said: “He went to the left and I believe that he would have hit the railings and that’s how he bounced back to hit the lorry.”
Ambulance officers tried to save him but he was pronounced dead at 12.20pm having sustained multiple injuries including rib and pelvic factures and haemorrhages.
Mr Hendrich, of Eversleigh Road, was studying for a doctorate in anthropology at Goldsmith’s College in New Cross and left behind his wife Sasha Smith, 35, and 19-month-old daughter, Agatha Rose.
Friends said he rode his bike everywhere, loved music and was passionate about youth work and fighting racism.
Since the accident Mr Isaacs gave up driving at Rapid Link Transport and is retraining as a heating engineer.
Dr Prescott recorded a verdict of death resulting from a road traffic accident at Westminster Coroner’s Court on Friday.
He said: “I am sorry I had to put everyone through this inquiry. I hope it will bring about closure. I offer my condolences to his friends and family.”