A 39-year-old cyclist suffered catastrophic injuries in a collision with a truck at a busy south Dublin roundabout. The woman was returning home from work when the accident happened at the junction between Whitehall Road and Templeville Road. The jury at an inquest into her death recommended the provision of a cycle lane at the junction.
Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that the two-axle rigid truck was indicating a left turn and the cyclist was positioned on the truck’s passenger side.
Luby Maryori Ramirez, a Spanish woman living at Limekiln Park, Walkinstown, Dublin, had left work at a catering firm just minutes earlier at 2.10pm on March 27th, 2017. Co-workers said she was in “great form”.
She suffered horrific injuries as the truck turned left and she came off her bicycle and fell under the wheels of the truck.
One witness said, as the lorry moved off, the cyclist “had nowhere to go”.
Witness Alison Whelan said the truck arrived at the roundabout before the cyclist.
“Something didn’t add up about the cyclist’s position. It got to a point that as the truck turned that she just had nowhere to go. She was tilting on her bike as if she was going to fall. She came off the bike and fell in front of the truck,” Miss Whelan said.
Truck driver Iulian Farcas said he was stopped at the roundabout with his indicator on, signalling a left turn. CCTV footage confirmed his indicator was on. He moved off but came to a halt after around 20 metres when he saw a black helmet in his mirror.
“I looked in my mirrors and I didn’t see anything. I checked the traffic on the roundabout. I moved off and after I saw the helmet I stopped and got out. When I saw the lady I was shocked,” Mr Farcas said.
Asked by Deputy Coroner Dr Crona Gallagher if this was a difficult junction for trucks, Mr Farcas said it was. “It’s a very big truck for this corner,” he said.
The woman’s partner Onan Maxwell grew concerned when she did not answer her phone. He had planned a surprise for her later that day.
Ms Ramirez was taken to Tallaght Hospital where she arrived at 2.50pm in an unresponsive state and was pronounced dead there. A post mortem report by Dr Paul Crotty gave the cause of death as multiple injuries due to a road traffic collision.
Garda Damien Farrell, PSV inspector said the woman had cycled up the inside of the truck.
“The rules of the road state that if the cyclist intends to turn right to position accordingly or remain behind the HGV,” he said.
There was no cycle lane, the court heard.
The coroner asked if it was possible to separate cyclists from traffic on the approach to the roundabout.
“Not that I can see other than sharing the footpath,” Gda Farrell said.
The jury returned a verdict of accidental death and recommended alterations to the junction to include the provision of a cycle lane.