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Coroner rules cyclist Adrianna Skrzypiec's death on A102 in Greenwich was accidental
MORE accidents will happen on an “exceptionally dangerous” junction where a cyclist was killed by a lorry unless safety improvements are made, it has been claimed.
Adrianna Skrzypiec, 31, was travelling from work to a birthday party when she was killed on the Kent-bound A102 slip road at the junction with Woolwich Road in Greenwich.
A Southwark Coroner’s Court inquest into her death beneath the Woolwich flyover heard she was dragged under the wheels of a lorry for 142 metres but, incredibly, no witnesses saw the accident and there was no CCTV footage.
Motorist Kirsty Black told the inquest she heard a loud bang as she waited at traffic lights.
Ms Black, also a cyclist, said: “The lights there are exceptionally dangerous. The phasing of them is very badly managed and they’re badly positioned.”
She said that just three weeks ago, she and her young daughter were nearly knocked down by a car as they used the road’s pedestrian crossing.
Ms Black said: “I do think something needs to be done about it.”
She added: “Other accidents have already happened. There are going to be more.”
A supervisor for fashion website Net-a-Porter, Miss Skrzypiec was living with her boyfriend in Rotherhithe at the time of the May 2009 accident and told friends she was scared when cycling through the junction.
Accident investigator PC Andrew Smith said one possibility was that Miss Skryzypiec was on the left side of a lorry and could not be seen by the driver.
John Lashbrook, a lorry driver from Sittingbourne, was initially charged with causing death by dangerous driving but the case was dismissed before it ever reached trial.
When asked by the coroner if he had a collision on that day Mr Lashbrook replied: “No. I don’t believe I did.”
The driver said he only found out about the accident six weeks later and had not noticed anything at the time of the incident.
Coroner Shanta Deonarine recorded a verdict of accidental death and the cause of death was given as multiple injuries.
After the accident, community group Greenwich Cyclists left a ‘ghost bike’ at the scene as a reminder that Miss Skrzypiec had died there.
Acting coordinator Anthony Austin, who regularly cycles through the junction, said the intersection’s advanced cycle stop and cycle lanes were largely ignored by motorists.
He said: “The safest thing to do as a cyclist is to stay behind the traffic and get in lane as if you were a car.”
Removing railings, painting clearer lines and better enforcing of cycling zones were all options to improve the situation, he said.
He added: “As regrettable and tragic as these accidents are I don’t want them to detract from the increase in cycling.”
A spokesman for Greenwich Council said: "Greenwich Council would again like to send heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Ms Skrzypiec.
"The council recognsises the importance of having safe routes for cyclists across the borough - an important part of the council's policy to encourage cycling in Greenwich.
"The council has been working on plans to devise a new scheme for cyclists at this junction which are being finalised before being put to councillors"