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Cyclist killed trying to beat lorry across junction

Dudley | News | Published:

A cyclist died when she was struck by a turning lorry in Dudley she was trying to beat across the junction, an inquest heard.

Care worker Lorraine Rowson, aged 51, suffered multiple injuries when the HGV's cab hit the rear wheel of her bicycle at the junction of Burton Road and Jews Lane in Upper Gornal on August 8 last year.

The mother-of-one had been cycling at the lorry's nearside and was dragged underneath the wheels when it tried to turn left into Jews Lane.

Paramedics went to the scene at around 11.40am but she could not be saved.

The cause of death was given as multiple chest and abdominal injuries due to a fatal road traffic accident.

Giving evidence to the hearing held at Smethwick Council House motorist Desmond Quinn, of Redford Court, Dudley, said: "I think she was trying to get ahead of the lorry. If she had been riding a bit faster she may have made it. The lorry's manoeuvre seemed to be a smooth manoeuvre."

In a statement read at the inquest another eyewitness Joanne Freeman, of Upper Gornal, said she was waiting at the traffic lights in Jews Lane when the tragedy unfolded to her right.

Police at the scene of the tragedy

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Police at the scene of the tragedy

"I saw a large lorry pull forward slowly. I saw the cyclist alongside it on the left hand side. I initially thought it was a child. I saw the lorry starting to move with the cyclist just slightly ahead. I realised what was going to happen and placed my hand on the horn and left it there. I saw the front of the lorry scoop the cyclist underneath," Ms Freeman stated.

Giving evidence lorry driver David Dudley, of Simmonds Bar, Button Oak, Bewdley, said he checked all of his six mirrors before pulling away and he was unaware that the rider was there until he felt 'a bump' and other drivers waved at him.

Pc Karl Davies, of West Midlands Police collision investigation unit, said after an investigation a decision was taken not to prosecute Mr Dudley.

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At yesterday's hearing Black Country Coroner Black Country coroner Zafar Saddique recorded a conclusion that Mrs Rowson, of Cawley Drive, died as a result of a road traffic collision.

"I have heard from a number of eyewitnesses who have said it appears that Mrs Rowson was trying to beat the lorry. Sadly there was a collision and she was pulled underneath the vehicle and received extensive injuries," Mr Saddique said.

She is survived by her husband and daughter, a 21-year-old university student, who the coroner said were too distressed to attend the hearing.

Colleagues of Mrs Rowson who had a number of jobs including at Greenway House Residential Home, in Springhill Lane, Lower Penn, described her as a 'wonderful person' who was known for her 'beautiful smile'.

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