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Saturday 22 September 2018

'Donna's death can help save others', say family of cyclist killed by lorry

Cyclist Donna Fox
Cyclist Donna Fox

The family of a cyclist killed in a collision with a truck have said they hope her death will help make the roads safer for others on two wheels.

Donna Fox (30), of Belgee, Naul, Co Dublin, was riding to work when she was fatally injured in the accident on September 6, 2016.

A verdict of misadventure was returned at an inquest into her death, and the jury recommended that more traffic lights be put up to allow cyclists to cross junctions safely.

Donna had stopped at lights at the junction of Seville Place and Sheriff Street Upper at 10.40am.

Indicate

She was travelling at 24kph in the cycle lane moments before she pulled up at the lights, Dublin Coroner's Court heard.

Donna, who was cycling straight ahead on her way to work at a pharmacy on Basin Street, arrived at the lights just before the truck moved off to take a left turn.

She came to a halt just ahead of the truck and did not see the driver indicate left just before making the turn.

Donna suffered multiple traumatic injuries after she fell beneath the wheel of the 12.5-tonne vehicle.

Forensic collision investigator Gda Damien Farrell said similar incidents were common.

The truck driver had only a few moments to spot Donna in his mirrors, the officer said.

He said the cyclist's position in this case was extremely dangerous as the curved style of mirror can cause images to be distorted.

Donna's partner, Anne Marie Ryan, gave evidence of identifying her body at the city morgue.

Gardai sent a file to the DPP following their investigations, but no prosecution was directed in the case.

Gda Farrell said that according to the rules of the road, a motorist must not overtake a cyclist on the approach to a junction if the driver's intention is to turn left.

Bollards have since been installed at the junction in a bid to separate traffic from the cycle lane, which has been repainted to improve visibility.

The jury recommended that all major junctions be audited, with a view to enhancing the visibility of cycle lanes.

It also called for traffic lights for cyclists to be installed at busy junctions.

Solicitor Dermot McNamara said Donna's family were calling on Dublin City Council to install bollards on all cycle lanes at busy junctions used by HGVs.

"Cyclists are exposed to unnecessary dangers on a daily basis on city centre streets which provide them with a frightening lack of protection," Mr McNamara said.

Speaking after the inquest, Donna's family said they wanted to see the recommend- ed changes introduced to make roads safer for cyclists.

"We welcome the recommendations," said Donna's brother, Neil. "We want to make a difference as much as we can out of a terrible tragedy.

"There are so many more people cycling in the city centre, and since Donna died at least 16 other cyclists have died. Today was a very difficult day, but we welcome the outcome.

Guilt

"For us the most important thing is Donna was completely cleared of any guilt in her own death, and that she was cycling at a normal speed in a cycling lane at the time of her death.

"The idea of her cycling helmet smashed on the road shocked me. She tried her best to protect herself."

Neil said the family never had any ill-feeling towards the truck driver.

"We wish him well. He is a young man and Donna would want him to be able to move on as best he can," he said.

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