Cyclist on phone to girlfriend when crushed by Chigwell lorry driver, court hears

Cyclist Victor Rodriguez was killed after being hit by a lorry in Ludgate Circus on April 3 2014 (Pi

Cyclist Victor Rodriguez was killed after being hit by a lorry in Ludgate Circus on April 3 2014 (Picture: Twitter/@G4Lycra) - Credit: Archant

A Chigwell lorry driver who knocked over and killed a cyclist at a notorious junction told jurors today it was a “horrible accident”.

John Green, 54, of Hazelwood Park Close, insisted he checked his mirrors before turning left and crushing 32-year-old Victor Rodriguez under his 32-ton truck.

The Old Bailey heard Mr Rodriguez was chatting to his girlfriend on his hands-free phone when he died.

He had been cycling down Fleet Street towards Ludgate Circus after a job interview at 10am on April 3 this year.

Mr Green was carrying scrap metal from Chancery Lane to Canning Town.

While the lorry driver was waiting at the traffic lights at Ludgate Circus, the court heard Mr Rodriguez cycled down the nearside of the lorry into the junction’s cycle lane.

Prosecutor Kenneth Millett told jurors yesterday: “We suggest that if Mr Green had looked in his mirrors immediately before or at the time he made the decision to turn left he would have clearly seen Mr Rodriguez and then not made his manoeuvre of turning left.

Most Read

“Although Mr Green was to insist in interview he checked his mirrors, in fact he had not done so.”

Mr Green then turned left and collided with Mr Rodriguez, who was cycling straight on towards St Paul’s, the court heard.

Mr Green told the Old Bailey today: “I didn’t see him in my mirrors - if I had seen him I wouldn’t have... [made the turn]. It’s horrible, it’s dreadful.”

Asked why he didn’t see the cyclist, he replied: “I scanned the mirrors, I never seen the man.”

The court heard Mr Green was alerted to the incident by the screams of pedestrians.

In total 12 cyclists died on London’s roads last year.

Mr Green denies causing death by careless driving.

The trial continues.