'I thought it was my last breath': London cyclist who was run over by lorry shares her terrifying story

Sarah Heanaghan suffered severe spine and leg injuries in crash

Police tape (Getty)

A cyclist from London has spoken out about the terrifying experience of being run over by a lorry on her morning commute, saying that she thought she was going to die in the crash.

Sarah Heanaghan suffered severe spine and leg injuries when she was run over by a lorry in January as the driver pulled away from a set of traffic lights in east London.

Ms Heanaghan was turning right at the junction of Whitechapel High Street and Commerical Road, with the driver taking the same turn but being unaware that she was in front of him at the junction.

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"I started off once the lights turned green. I was about 2m in front of him when he hit me, knocked me down and pulled me under," Ms Heanaghan told the Evening Standard. "My hair was pulled back and he went on to my leg.

"I remember my chest being crushed and taking what I thought was my last breath. He stopped just before crushing my head. I was very lucky."

Ms Heanaghan has been undergoing rehabilitation to recover from her injuries, but still requires a wheelchair, was forced to quit her job, and has been diagnosed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depression.

Ms Heanaghan's lawyers said that the Metropolitan Police did not refer the case for investigation after saying that it was "incorrectly informed" about the severity of Ms Heanaghan's injuries.

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Having secured an undisclosed sum from the lorry firm's insurers to pay for her rehabilitation, Ms Heanaghan has now returned to her native New Zealand to continue her recovery, hoping to return to London in the future.

Providing evidence in Ms Heanaghan's civil case, the lorry driver said that he had not seen Ms Heanaghan, with his mirrors only being designed to show the nearside of the lorry.