A coroner records a verdict of death by road traffic accident after Lorraine Rowson was dragged under the left-turning HGV last August

An inquest in the West Midlands has heard how a 51-year-old mother of one was killed when she was dragged under an HGV as she tried to beat it across a junction.

Care worker Lorraine Rowson suffered multiple chest and abdominal injuries in the accident on August 8 last year and died at the scene, reports the Express and Star.

The inquest at Smetwick Council House heard that Mrs Rowson was riding alongside the lorry as it turned left at the junction of Burton Road and Jews Lane in Upper Gornal, near Dudley.

Motorist Desmond Quinn, of Dudley, said in evidence: “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.”

>>> Why are lorries responsible for so many cyclist deaths?

Eyewitness Joanne Freeman “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,”

Lorry driver David Dudley says he checked all six of his mirrors before pulling away, only realising that he’d hit Mrs Rowson when he “felt a bump” and other drivers alerted him.

West Midlands Police decided not to prosecute Mr Dudley. Coroner Zafar Saddique recorded a conclusion that Mrs Rowson died as a result of a road traffic collision.

  • lustra

    I don’t see any evidence the cyclist was trying to beat the lorry across the junction. The report does not make it clear exactly what happened prior to the collision. It is possible the cyclist was undertaking an lorry indicating left but more usually it is a case of a lorry driver overtaking before cutting across and killing a cyclist. All cyclists should use cameras because they will be your best and probably only witness in a case like this. Motorists are notoriously unreliable as witnesses in a collision involving a person on a bicycle.

  • poisonjunction

    Colin
    LZ live’s across the Atlantic where traffic drives on the right. He’s not a lorry driver or a cyclist! He’s no time for either, to busy ‘here’!
    A typical ‘wind up’, unemployed and alone, he adds nothing.
    Best policy, Ignore him.

    In UK we are getting there with CYCLE only areas at many traffic lights.
    At other junctions expect the unexpected, know what’s behind, use a mirror.
    Motor vehicles are lethal in the wrong hands, and users need ALL their senses at the wheel.

    Looked in 6 mirrors and didn’t see her?
    Only a bump as he ran over her!

    Cocooned in a warm cab, earphones, sunglasses ……. i’m surprised he felt anything?

    ‘Hear no evil, see no evil = does evil’

    Penalties change soon? But too late for some.

  • Colin Gregor

    Even in a very strong primary there is still often room for a truck to pull up alongside. It is common for this to happen. If I’m already stopped how do I then move over as you suggest? It takes a strong rider to outdrag an accelerating truck. The more advice you offer the less I agree with the advice you give.

  • LaszloZoltan

    well you see, if you are stopped at a light then you move over to keep the unit behind you. also, try to get rolling a bit before the truck, just in case your chain catches or your foot slips or something breaks- so you don’t fall in front of the moving truck.

  • Colin Gregor

    None of which you can do if you are stopped at traffic lights and the truck pulls up alongside you, putting you in the drivers blindspot….

  • LaszloZoltan

    trucks have some pretty big blind spots- I drive trucks for a living, and I am a cyclist (first).

    by taking your hand off to bang on the side of a vehicle- you lose your ability to brake fully, and hamper control of your bike, not to mention just being too close to the unit. you might think a driver is going to worry that you might be damaging his truck by banging on it- fact of the matter is that with forklifts throwing skids of products on and off the cargo, banging as hard as you might, means about as much as a bug splat- the cabs are so noisy I usually wear earplugs- but use your voice to get his attention-and attention of others (witnesses) who might be around – as loud as you can, a short sharp “HEY!” – you keep your hands on the bars/brakes where they can actually make a difference.

    if you want to pick a fight with a truck-you will lose, so dont.
    enjoy the ride and stay safe

  • LaszloZoltan

    a few things that I hope will help-

    1) if the truck is stopped, the cyclist should be able to get ahead of it fairly easily- the safer things to do while stopped at the light is to position yourself behind the wheels to be able view the drivers face in the mirror- if you can see him he can see you- you imperil yourself riding along a truck in a drivers blind spot.

    2) pass on the outside lane, not the curb lane where you can get pinched
    3) never assume the truck will signal a turn or sudden stop
    4) dont play games with a truck, give a wide berth (the truck could have pieces sticking out that could catch you)

  • William Tucker

    What evidence was there to suggest that this lady was “trying to beat lorry across junction”. If she was ahead of the lorry when it started to move she had every right to be there even if it proved to be a fatal devision.

  • Colin Gregor

    What do you do if you are on a bike at the lights and a truck stops alongside you, and then when the light changes it tries to turn left right through you?

  • Kevino Daviessss

    Whilst a terrible accident, my advice would be to not put yourself in a situation where your undertaking a truck on a bend/ junction. Banging on the side I suspect won’t make much different?
    20 seconds later maybe she could of pulled away safely?? Unfortunately sometimes it is an accident and in hindsight it may of ended differently.

    I think the lesson to any cyclist is sometimes is less haste more speed?

  • poisonjunction

    ADVICE . IF you’re suddenly in a ‘risky’, or threatening situation, vehemently BANG, BANG, BANG, on the side of the offending vehicle, that’ll wake them from their ‘drunken stupor’
    it may even save your life!!

    Driver said he checked all 6 mirrors, well would he admit he didn’t check them. FFS