A cyclist who died after crashing into a parked lorry told witnesses that he “put [his] head down and went for it” as he was treated at the scene, an inquest has heard.
Jerome Roussel suffered spinal injuries when he crashed at around 20mph into the back of a delivery lorry while commuting in London on May 2, dying from complications seven weeks later in hospital.
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The Evening Standard reports that an inquest into his death heard how Mr Roussel, who was able to speak after the crash and was initially thought to have suffered non-life threatening injuries, told witnesses “I put my head down and went for it, I didn’t see the lorry.”
Poplar Coroner’s Court also heard that Mr Roussel had admitted that it was his fault that he had ridden into the back of the delivery lorry, which had stopped on Pentonville Road in London, and had its hazard warning lights on as the driver, Steven Swanson, prepared to make a difficult turn.
“I got out of the cab after checking my mirrors. Then there was a loud bang,” Mr Swanson told the inquest. People were jumping off a bus and pointing — I thought it might have been a bomb. I went to the back to look and there was a cyclist in the road.
“I couldn’t see any obvious sign of injury, I thought he was going to be OK. When I was told the cyclist had died I was in shock.”
Doctors had initially though that Mr Roussel would make a full recovery from his injuries, even talking to his family about how he could return to his job as a city trader. However Mr Roussel died on June 25 after a “slow, painful battle against infection.”
“He was fairly fast, he was a fit man, he had his head down and just did not see the lorry,” said coroner Mary Hassel as she recorded a verdict of accidental death. “The moment’s inattention resulted in him crashing.”