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Cyclist crushed to death under wheels of lorry

Breda Heffernan A FILIPINO chef on his way to submit an application for residency in Ireland suffered devastating head injuries when he fell underneath a lorry.

An inquest heard yesterday that Dante de Vere Padua (32) had left work at the Clontarf Castle Hotel early and was cycling towards the city centre to file the application when he collided with a lorry at the junction of East Wall Road and Annesley Bridge Road on the afternoon of February 8 last year.

Dublin City Coroner's Court heard that the father-of-two had just received the last documents needed to apply for residency from his employer and had hoped his wife and two children would soon be able to join him in Ireland.

"When he was leaving work he said 'I've all my papers now and can put my application in'. He was very upbeat and excited," recalled human resources manager at the hotel, Barbara Carroll.

Taxi driver Fintan Molloy told the inquest he was waiting behind the lorry to make a left turn when he noticed a cyclist "wobbling on his bicycle and struggling to keep control of it" before tumbling between the wheels.

A Dublin Fire Brigade firefighter who came across the scene soon after went to Mr Padua's assistance but was unable to get a pulse. The chef was pronounced dead on arrival at the Mater Hospital.

A post mortem found he had suffered "devastating" head injuries.

The driver of the lorry, Sean McCaul, was taken to hospital after the incident suffering from shock. He told the inquest he was returning to work at the Dublin Port Tunnel site and did not realise he had driven over Mr Padua until other motorists began beeping their horns and pointing behind him.

Mr McCaul said he had checked all his mirrors prior to moving off but had not seen the cyclist.

The court heard that despite having two extra mirrors, that are not required by law, fitted to the footpath side of his vehicle, there was still a blind spot measuring 1.6m. Sgt Colm Finn of the forensic collision unit said there was a "very high risk" that a cyclist would not be seen due to the blind spot.

A jury recorded a verdict of accidental death and recommended that the relevant standards authority consider requiring that additional mirrors be made mandatory for high-sided vehicles.

They also called on Dublin City Council to examine the configuration of the existing cycle lane at the junction in light of the number of lorries from Dublin Port using the area.

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