The inquest into the death of cyclist Paula Jurek yesterday ruled that she was crushed to death by a lorry with a faulty indicator at a busy junction.
Paula Jurek, a travel and tourism student at London Metropolitan University, was hit by a lorry driven by Barry Roe as he turned left at the junction of St Pancras Way and Camden Road, London on April 5 2011.
Witnesses said they did not see the lorry indicate before turning, but CCTV footage was unclear.
The vehicle was later found to have a loose bulb in one of its indicators. Road traffic collision investigator Paul Deneyes told the inquest: “The bulb wasn’t fitted correctly.”
He told the inquest that the fault was intermittent and it could have been working when the driver checked it. He also said it was possible Paula Jurek had been in the vehicle’s blind spot when Barry Roe turned into her.
Barry Roe told the inquest: “I did not see [Paula] prior to the collision. I checked my mirrors. I indicated. I did not know about the defect with the indicator. I checked it that morning.”
Recording a verdict of death by road traffic collision, Deputy Coroner Selena Lynch said: “I have come to no conclusion about whether or not the indicators were activated by the driver.”
She said: “I am sorry for the family’s loss and that it has taken so long to come to this conclusion.”
It emerged at the inquest that Barry Roe had been charged with causing death by careless driving, but the Crown Prosecution Service had dropped the case in February.
Days before the trial was due to start the case was discontinued because the CPS offered no evidence, and new witness testimony emerged about Paula Jurek’s position on the road.
Her mother Iwona, father Zbigniew and sister Magda travelled from Poland to be at the inquest. They said they only found out there that the case had been dropped.
Iwona Jurek said: “We’re shocked and angry. There has been no communication. We have been waiting for two years. We want to take this further. Justice would make the matter easier to take.”
The CPS said: “Due to new evidence coming to light very shortly before the trial we had to make the decision extremely promptly. We wrote letters to the parents and sister explaining our reasons. These were sent to police to send to the family on 23 February.”
The Metropolitan Police said: “We have continued to liaise with the family to keep them updated with the status of our inquiries. We apologise for any distress the drawn-out nature of this investigation may have caused.”
The inquest into Paula Jarek's death was originally scheduled for November 10 2011 but was delayed while authorities decided whether or not to charge Barry Roe.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.