The death of cyclist Tafsir Butt has been ruled accidental following an inquest at Southwark coroner’s court reports the London Evening Standard. The 52-year-old was cycling home to Battersea from an overnight shift as a security guard on June 2, 2014 when he was hit by an extra-large tipper truck on Parry Street, part of Vauxhall Gyratory.
Driver Frank Lunnon insisted that he had indicated before moving into Butt’s lane, saying it was something he did ‘automatically’. CCTV from the lorry did not show whether or not this was the case and with no eyewitness evidence, police decided there was insufficient evidence to bring a prosecution.
The inquest heard how Lunnon had overtaken Butt, but the cyclist had moved back in front as the lorry slowed to 6mph in traffic. Butt was then struck from behind by the truck in what is an unlit tunnel.
An off-duty army doctor initially attended to him before paramedics and an air ambulance doctor arrived. However, Butt had gone into cardiac arrest and died at the scene.
A police investigation concluded that Butt would have been in the driver’s mirrors for 2.6 seconds, but had then ridden into a blind spot. Assistant coroner Philip Barlow said: “On the balance of probability, the lorry was indicating left when changing lane.”
Speaking at the inquest, Butt’s brother, Tauqir, said: “I’m interested in the indicator. There was CCTV — did he indicate or not? I have lost my brother at the end of the day. He is not going to come back. Really, he [Lunnon] has got away with nothing.”
Tauqir had previously said that his brother had crashed at the same junction once before.
“He went to hospital and luckily he escaped with just bruising, but we pleaded with him ‘please don’t use that junction again’ because it is so dangerous.
“But that morning he did for some reason and it’s cost him his life. It was only the second time he’d used it that we know of.”
Vauxhall gyratory is now part of the fully segregated Cycle Superhighway 5.
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