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Update: cyclist killed by Tesco lorry/LGV/HGV Brixton
11.12.07 by Buffalo Bill

There are a number of questions about the fatal collision on Thursday 6th December that left a mother dead. Most of them will only be answered, if ever, after a police investigation, and any subsequent legal action, including the inquest.

However, according to Selim who was on the scene very shortly after the collision, the lorry was stopped in Christchurch Road, around 100 metres west east of the junction with Brixton Hill. The body of the cyclist was lying in the road around 3 metres west of the junction, with a trail of debris from the junction to the body. Amongst that debris, Selim told me that he saw cyclist’s smashed helmet.

The Standard has a report today (2007-12-11 page 26) headlined Inquiry as Tesco lorry kills woman cyclist at junction. The report adds a little detail to what we have already seen. The dead woman’s name is Kate Robson Charles, and she is described as a keen environmentalist, and a regular cyclist.
The Standard also quotes Bill Walker, who posted a comment on the news report on thisislocallondon.

As for the investigation, all Tesco drivers involved in an accident are subject to a drink and drugs test, debriefed by managment and suspended pending further investigation, when ready a further interview will take place with representation and so forth until a conclusion is agreed upon. However if a police investigation is ongoing, no final decision will be taken until the end of that investigation.

It’s nice that Tesco is doing an investigation, but as we reported earlier, at least one Tesco driver was reportedly suspended recently for refusing to breach Tesco’s own safety rules, so one has be a little sceptical of any claim that Tesco might make about best practice etc.

The Standard reporter also speculates that the driver failed to see the cyclist in the passenger-side mirror. Failed to see, or failed to look, I would say, but we’ll have to wait until after the police investigation for any answer to that question.

  1. Bit of a graphic description seeing as friends and family memebers might read this don;t you think?

    — Zack Speedfast    11 December 2007, 16:58    #
  2. Maybe you are right.

    — Bill    11 December 2007, 17:31    #
  3. Very shocked and saddened to hear about the death of Kate Robson.

    — JUDITH    11 December 2007, 21:06    #
  4. The cyclist’s name was Kate Charles. I think Bill’s taken Robson from a neighbour of Kate’s, quoted in the Evening Standard…

    — weemacgreegor    12 December 2007, 13:49    #
  5. As I understand it, all the Tesco lorries from the Thurrock depot are fitted with new standard mirrors giving a view all around the front and side of the lorry. In theory, if the driver looked he should have seen the cyclist.

    Charlie    12 December 2007, 16:01    #
  6. All thurrock trucks are NOT fitted
    with the latest mirrors some still have the “skinny” old style.
    Remember old or new ALL mirrors have blind spots and the driver has lots of places to be looking at the same time not just staring at one mirror.

    — Sicknote    13 December 2007, 04:20    #
  7. Sicknote, you a Tesco driver?

    — Bill    13 December 2007, 07:13    #
  8. Hello Bill

    Yes for my sins

    — Sicknote    14 December 2007, 04:40    #
  9. Hi

    I am not sure if it is right to add my (related) story but if, in the light of the tragic death of Kate Charles, this is not the place to post this, I will completely understand if you remove my post.

    . . . .

    A Tesco delivery driver attempted to use his vehicle as a weapon against me last April (2006).

    Tesco showed little interest in the issue, it took them a week to even register that I had sent them an email, a week in which this driver was free to act in the same manner.

    What followed was the standard ‘we will investigate’ response which from a large company like Tesco you can guarantee will mean very little.

    Nothing of course happened, the driver was not disciplined, I presume he is still in their service, I presume when the mood takes him he will still steer his vehicle at cyclists who annoy him in an attempt to run them off the road.

    Anyhow, here is my email to Tesco from April 06.


    ——- Original Message ——-
    From: “lee wilson-wolfe” <leewilsonwolfe@hotmail.com>
    Date: 19 April 2006
    Subject: Complaint – 2nd post

    To whom it may concern.

    I am not sure which department to email this to so I would be grateful if
    you could forward this to the relevant person.

    I wish to make a complaint about one of your delivery drivers.

    Today – Saturday 15th April 2006 – I found myself on my pedal cycle at the
    traffic lights at the junction of Parkway, Delancey Street and Gloucester
    Avenue close to Regents Park in North London, this is a regular part of my
    journey home as I live close by in Primrose Hill.

    As the traffic lights changed to green I pulled away following a black taxi
    which was at the front of the traffic queue waiting at the lights. As I left
    the lights a white Tesco delivery van appeared on my left sounding his horn
    and shouting something towards me (I could not hear through the closed
    window), he then proceeded to swerve at me and steer his vehicle into my
    path, still shouting, before getting back into lane and driving away.

    I was – as you can imagine – very angry at what I judged to be an attempt to
    cause harm, even injury, to me. Regardless of what this employee of yours
    thought I had done, there is no place on the road for a person to
    intimidate, threaten or even attempt to cause injury to other road users
    using one of your companies vehicles.

    I caught up with your driver a few hundred yards further along Regents Park
    Road and confronted him as he turned into Princess Road, I asked him what he
    thought he was doing attempting to run me off the road, he offered no
    explanation nor apology, when in the heat of – what turned in to a shouting
    match – I said I could have been killed, he replied “well your not dead now
    are you”.

    I could see nothing was going to be resolved in the middle of the street as
    I was becoming increasingly angry at his contempt for my road safety and his
    lack of willingness to engage with my complaint. He was equally becoming
    increasingly angry at my threats to attempt a prosecution through the
    police, and when he rolled up the window and started smashing his fists
    against it towards me – then getting out of the cab shouting – I felt it was
    time to leave before I ended the day in more pieces than I started it.

    My immediate thoughts were to contact the police and report the incident,
    but on hindsight – after calming down at home for a few minutes – I realised
    your drivers intentions were probably not to cause injury me, but simply to
    intimidate or threaten me – perhaps at worst to knock me off my bike – but
    as I am sure you are aware these reckless actions can easily lead to a road
    death or serious injury whether intentional or not – more so when a cyclist
    is involved.

    I am not by nature a malevolent sort of person and have decided that
    recourse to the courts would be a waste of both the drivers time and my own
    and perhaps not the best thing to do in this instance. So I will not pursue
    a legal path. But I am uncomfortable with the notion that this driver will
    eventually cause harm to others if he chooses to deal with other road users
    in such a manner, particularly when dealing with a cyclist or pedestrian who
    annoys him in some way.

    My thoughts as a long time Tesco shopper (and recent convert to your online
    services) were to withdraw my custom and do my families shopping elsewhere,
    but I am aware this token gesture would not even register with of a company
    the size of Tesco and would only cause me inconvenience.


    Details of the incident:

    The incident took place at the junctions of Parkway, Delancey Street and
    Gloucester Avenue in North London at around 4:30pm on Saturday 15th April

    The vechiles number plate was BX55 CYL, it was a white Tesco delivery van
    with a broken right front side indicator, the driver was a male around 30 years old.

    I would appreciate some kind of feedback to know this complaint has at least got through to the right department.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.


    — leeww    17 December 2007, 12:51    #
  10. Disgusted to see today that the Tesco Express store not 100m from the scene of this collision has a yellow sign outside appealing for witnesses to an armed robbery, but there is no such sign appealing for witnesses to the death of this poor woman.

    Sign of the times?

    — anon    24 December 2007, 00:10    #
  11. Any nerws on the inquiry?

    — stephen    15 February 2008, 12:05    #
  12. It’s sad to hear about this, I only found out about it after I saw a ghost-bike on streatham road which has been there for a long while, look up google image, ghost bike streatham, or google maps, you may even see it there, where you see the ghost bike, is usually the area of what this poor lady died.

    — Mark    22 January 2010, 22:42    #
  13. Its very easy to slag off tesco but have any of you stopprd to think how the poor driver feels if people on bikes dont have enough brain power to work out large trucks are dangerous and stay back then maybe we should just close all the shops and factories down and we can all sit on the dole moaning about things on the net .

    — Billy    25 February 2010, 17:53    #
  14. @billy. That must have been one of the dumbest arguments here ever. What about people in lorries that don’t have enough brainpower to be aware of other road users. I think the dole is probably the best option for you, you fucking brain defect.

    — michael toivonen    25 February 2010, 21:43    #
  15. I dellivered to the nottting hill gate store today, and on the way back down the 402 was persued by a kamakazie cyclist constantly trying to undertake me when there simply wasnt the room.Eventually I had no opttion but to “squeeze “ him because I simply could not spend all of my attention looking for him, there are lots of other things drivers of large vehicles have to attend to. He probably thought I had not seen him and nearly killed him through negligence. In reality I was passing a message to him to stop being so bloody stupid, and give me room to manover.

    — dave    15 April 2010, 00:50    #
  16. Nice spelling. Teaching him a ‘lesson’? With a multi-ton vehicle? Even better!


    — Bill    15 April 2010, 07:07    #
  17. Does a “manover” involve a rent-boy?

    — michael toivonen    15 April 2010, 07:24    #
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