Eilidh Cairns was crushed to death under the wheels of a lorry being driven down a street too narrow for it to travel. An eyewitness stayed with Eilidh, who was trapped under the wheels, until an ambulance arrived. Eilidh later died in the hospital from multiple injuries.The driver, Joao Lopes, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. The collision investigation confirmed that the 2 metre wide carriageway was too narrow for the 2.5 metre lorry, and the inquest by the coroner's court is ongoing as of January 22, 2010. The incident occured during morning rush hour on the westbound carriageway opposite Tescos in Notting Hill Gate.from the London Evening Standard, January 22, 2010:
As Ms Cairns lay trapped under the wheels at 9am on 5 February last year, she pleaded with a woman to stay with her until the ambulance arrived. Eyewitnesses Melinda Ross told the inquest in a statement: “I heard a loud bang and a scream. I saw a woman trapped under the second wheel of the lorry. “Her body from the waist down was under the tyre itself. She asked me to help her and not to leave. She found it hard to breathe and was in pain. “She kept asking where the ambulance was and I stayed with her and tried to keep her calm.” Ms Cairns, of Kentish Town, died in hospital at 10.48. Anna Morris, for Ms Cairns's family, said: “The collision investigation report specifically makes observations on the narrowing of the carriageway at this key point. “It notes that at one point it is two metres wide, while the vehicle in question is 2.5 metres wide. “It is obvious now from the material obtained there have been other incidents at this crossing. There have been allegations of incidents resulting in serious injury that have been noted by the council.” Deputy coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe rejected an appeal by the family to adjourn the inquest so Kensington and Chelsea council could see the report. Ms Cairns's sister Kate said: “Eilidh always strove to be fit and active and loved to cycle to work. Her daily commute alone was 20 miles a day.” Mr Lopes faces criminal proceedings in connection with the death. He attended the inquest with a Portuguese interpreter. The inquest continues.
On March 7, 2009, over 300 people attended a memorial bike ride for Eilidh. Watch video of the ride here: http://www.vimeo.com/3691223Later, London's first city-approved, permanent ghost cycle memorial was installed near the site of her death. Watch the London Tonight news package on Eilidh's memorial and ghost bike installation: http://vimeo.com/6590851Eilidh's sister, Kate Cairns, has since been working to draw attention to cyclists' rights to safe passage on roadways, and has teamed up with the production company where Eilidh worked as producer, IMG Media, to produce a video appeal for wide distribution. The film is titled, ‘Eilidh Cairns: What happened?’Read the BBC news article 'My sister deserved safer roads' featuring Kate Cairn: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8039289.stm There is a Facebook group where friends and family remember Eilidh: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&gid=83011272326