independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Rush-hour horror after cyclist falls under lorry

Man (51) dies in hospital after being dragged beneath wheels

A garda forensic officer examines the scene of the crash between the truck and the cyclist on Wellington Quay, Dublin.

A MALE cyclist died yesterday following a collision with a lorry during the morning rush hour in Dublin city centre.

Gardai and emergency services were quickly at the scene, but the 51-year-old man was pronounced dead a short time later at St James's Hospital.

The south quays, from Aston Quay to Wellington Quay, were closed to traffic for several hours as forensics collision investigators examined the area. The footbridge across the Liffey was also sealed off.

The cyclist was travelling west along the south quays when the front of his bicycle was dragged under the wheels of the lorry at about 8.20am, close to the Ha'penny Bridge on Wellington Quay.

The incident resulted in long delays for commuters as traffic was diverted away from the area. College Green and O'Connell Street northbound, which are normally closed to cars, were opened to alleviate the build-up of queues along the north quays and Pearse Street.

AA spokeswoman Louise Duffy said the tragic accident had a strong impact on inbound traffic, and that, judging by texts and calls to the AA Roadwatch office, some motorists experienced delays of 15 minutes to half-an-hour in travelling times.

It also emerged yesterday that a car with no driver knocked down a cyclist after it drifted downhill.

The black Audi was parked outside a supermarket on the North Circular Road, close to the junction with the Phibsborough Road in north Dublin, when it began to roll down the incline towards a pedestrian crossing at about 4pm. A witness said it collided with two other vehicles and struck a cyclist, who was not seriously injured. It finally came to a stop near a set of traffic lights.

"It was surreal -- it just kept going and when I saw it heading for the cyclist I thought he could have been killed," she said. "The owner of the vehicle had most likely failed to set the hand-brake properly."

Gardai said they were unaware of the incident.

Last night, cycling campaigners hit out at the garda traffic corps, claiming that drivers who put bike users in danger were not being prosecuted.

Seven cyclists have been killed on the country's roads this year, out of a total road death toll of 171.

Dr Mike McKillen, Dublin Cycling Campaign chairman, said: "Gardai do not see cycling as being vulnerable and requiring proper traffic enforcement. Gardai are not doing their job in protecting cycling."

Dr McKillen said the campaign group has official figures which show that no motorist has been prosecuted for dangerous overtaking, which, he says, puts cyclists at risk.

It is estimated that more than 5,000 people cycle into Dublin city centre every day.

Brian Farrell, Road Safety Authority spokesman, said pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are most at risk on the road.

"They are vulnerable road users and if they are involved in a collision their chances of injury or death are more serious," he said.

Meanwhile, officers are continuing to probe two other fatalities on the country's roads since Monday.

A 24-year-old motorcyclist from Latvia collided with a car on the Roscrea to Kinnitty Road in Co Offaly shortly before 7pm on Monday evening.

Hospital

The victim was named as Guntard Strods (24), who lived at Assumption Park in Roscrea, Co Tipperary.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the car was taken to the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore.

Last night the HSE confirmed the driver was not admitted overnight, but received medical treatment for minor injuries.

Meanwhile, motorists can expect delays today around Amiens Street, Mayor Street and Commons Street in Dublin due to Luas testing.

Amiens Street will be closed to traffic tonight and tomorrow night from 7pm to facilitate the testing which will be implemented again on September 22 and 23.

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