Cait Hurley, Southwark Bridge, London, February 2012

Cait used to cycle 20 miles every day to get to work and had been cycling in London for 20 years. She took the same route each day, crossing Southwark bridge with many other cyclists who used the Barclay’s Blue Super Highway.

In February 2012 Cait was returning home along her usual route when she was hit by a lorry. As Cait was waiting with a group of 5 cyclists at a set of traffic lights she noticed an HGV in the queue of traffic behind her. She noticed that many of the cars in the queue were indicating to turn right but the HGV wasn’t. Cait thought this was odd because it meant the lorry would have to travel straight on along a narrow road with a bike line running beside it.

After the junction the road bent slightly to the right then to the left, on the left bend the HGV driver attempted to overtake the 6 cyclists. As he completed the manoeuvre the back of the lorry entered the cycle lane and clipped Cait. Cait was thrown from her bike and her leg was caught under the lorry’s wheels.

Cait’s leg was grazed so badly that she had to undergo a skin graft operation in which skin and a vein were removed from her thigh to cover the leg wound. She now has horrific scarring on both legs, which requires daily treatment.

At the scene of the collision the attending police officer recorded Cait’s injuries as ‘not life threatening, not life changing’. Cait’s life was life was not in danger but it has certainly changed as a result of the crash: she no longer cycles and now walks with a limp and the aid of a walking stick. She struggles to do everyday tasks, to climb stairs carrying a tray of drinks, to walk short distances, to stand for any length of time or to play with her two young children.

Despite the collision occurring during rush hour on a busy London road the police failed to find any witnesses. Cait struggled to search for witnesses using social media whilst she was recovering from her injuries. This unsuccessful process left her exhausted and dejected. She was even more disappointed by the police failure to look at CCTV footage even though there were CCTV cameras along the stretch of road where the collision happened. The driver claimed Cait had tried to undertake him; blaming her for the collision. The driver was not charged because there was not enough evidence.

Watch Cait tell her story.

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