Nurse 'let out scream' being knocked from bike before bin lorry killed her

By Alahna Kindred

A nurse let out a scream when she was knocked off her bicycle before a refuse lorry drove over her body and killed her, a coroner heard today.

Samantha Blackborow, 35, was cycling when a bin lorry driving through heavy traffic turned left and mowed her down in November last year.

The mum-of-two was fun over by the front wheel and died instantly from severe multiple injuries, despite desperate attempts to save her life, pathologist Professor Ian Roberts said.

Company director David Lane had been waiting at a Costa drive-thru with his car window open when he heard the specialist nurse scream and watched in horror as she was knocked off her bike in what looked like "slow motion."

This is the road the specialist nurse was cycling on at the time of her death (Google)

Mr Lane told Oxford Coroner's Court: "I heard the screams and saw a cyclist and her bike. She had been knocked off the cycle by the bin lorry which was still moving.

"I saw a child's seat on the back of the bike. I saw the front-wheel drive over the cyclist, the lorry went straight over the cyclist before it came to a stop."

The white Mercedes lorry was only travelling at five miles an hour, but Samantha, from Oxford, suffered unsurvivable injuries and she was declared deceased on the side of the road.

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Lorry driver Robin Dowsett told the inquest he had 26 years of experience as a professional and was working as a cover driver for the waste management company Veolia.

Taking to the witness stand, Mr Dowsett said: "I was waiting patiently to turn left...there is a blind spot by the kerbside mirror.....I was constantly checking my mirrors, I did not see her. I knew I had hit something as I felt a jolt....afterwards I was in complete and utter shock."

He explained he had just returned from a 45-minute break where he cleaned his prescription glasses, telephoned his wife and played his games before setting off again, shortly before the tragedy.

Investigators had previously made the decision not to prosecute the driver following the tragedy.

Chris Lewis, a forensic collision investigator, said: "Ultimately this collision comes down to whether the driver perceived her in her bright coloured jacket against the road surface and whether she appeared in the mirrors while he was looking at them.

He continued: "Samantha would have been visible in at least one of the mirrors, however, she was passing just as he was preparing to turn left, giving an audio and visible warning of his intended manoeuvre."

He added there was a possibility that the sun's glare could have restricted the visibility of the pedal cyclist.

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said: "Samantha Blackborow was a specialist nurse. Her death was verified at 9.23am on November 3 2020, Her cause of death was multiple injuries.

"Samantha was riding her bike when a lorry travelling slowly in the same direction in heavy traffic turned left and impacted with her on the front nearside, resulting in her falling off and being run over."

He recorded the conclusion of road traffic collision.

A canvas of the mother, her partner Will and her two children sitting on the sofa was placed at the front of the inquest room.

A tribute online said: "It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Samantha. Samantha sadly passed away on November 3 2020 at the age of 35 years.

"She leaves behind her wonderful partner Will and two beautiful children along with her family and friends."

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