Thursday 19 July 2018

The family of tragic Donna vow to make cycling safer

Family members of the late Donna Fox – sister Leanne, father Peter and brother Neil – outside the Coroner’s Court after the inquest into the cyclist’s death. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Family members of the late Donna Fox – sister Leanne, father Peter and brother Neil – outside the Coroner’s Court after the inquest into the cyclist’s death. Photo: Caroline Quinn

Conor Feehan and Louise Roseingrave

The heartbroken family of cyclist Donna Fox, who was killed in a collision with a truck, have demanded changes to make the roads safer.

After the inquest reached a verdict of death by misadventure, her brother, Neil Fox, said they want "to make a difference as much as we can out of a terrible tragedy".

The jury of four men and two women made two recommendations, which Coroner Myra Cullinane will now forward to local authorities and the Road Safety Association.

They want all major road junctions to be audited, cycle lanes highlighted, and that additional traffic lights be introduced to allow cyclists to cross such junctions safely.

"There are so many more people cycling in Dublin city centre and since Donna died at least 16 other cyclists have died," said Mr Fox.

"As a family, today was a very difficult day, but we welcome the outcome. We feel it was probably the outcome we were hoping for and 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," he said.

"Donna was a very careful person and conscientious and did things the right way.

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

"There was never any ill-will toward the driver. We wish him well.

"My sister would have wanted him to move on with his life."

Ms Fox (30), of Belgee, Naul, Co Dublin, was cycling to work on September 6, 2016. She stopped at traffic lights at the junction of Seville Place and Sheriff Street Upper at 10.40am.

She was to travel straight ahead, on her way to work at a pharmacy on Basin Street.

Ms Fox 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 as such would not have seen the driver indicate left.

She suffered multiple traumatic injuries after she fell beneath the wheel of the 12.5-tonne truck.

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

The driver had only a few moments to spot the cyclist in his mirrors, the garda said. Gardaí sent a file to the DPP, but no prosecution was directed.

The Fox family's solicitor, Dermot McNamara, issued a statement to say the dangers posed to cyclists from heavy goods vehicles turning left across cycle lanes were "starkly highlighted".

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

Irish Independent

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