Alessandro Filipik was killed when he was crushed by an HGV driven by Richard Lankstead. Both had been waiting at the traffic lights at the western side of the junction of New Road with East Park Terrace and Palmerston road in Southampton. Filipik was heading straight on, whilst Lankstead was turning left into East Park Terrace.
It should be noted that New Road is subject to a 7.5t weight restriction, as indicated by signs at Park Walk (the preceding junction to the west), meaning the HGV should not have been there and Lankstead was thus making a prohibited turn. Reports appear to suggest that Filipik approached the junction after Lankstead, coming alongside the HGV. Reports do not state whether Lankstead was indicating, nor where he was positioned relative to the two lanes. It can be noted that the left lane is marked on the ground as a left turn lane, while the right lane is marked straight on (right turns are prohibited).
An inquest held in February 2017 heard that Filipik suffered abdominal, spinal and leg injuries and subsequently died as a result of cardiac arrest.
Lankstead said that he had checked all his mirrors before moving off but did not see Filipik. Collision investigator Pc Emma Clifford reportedly said that Filipik would have been visible in the mirrors for “a matter of seconds”. How many seconds is not made clear; nor is the period of visibility. Photographs of the vehicle clearly show mirrors designs to give visibility of the near side areas of the cab to its side and to its front, so it seems unlikely that Filipik would have passed out of view in the mirrors once he had entered it.
According to reports, Clifford then added that Filipik’s “dark clothing and lack of lights would have hindered his ability to be seen”, with coroner Grahame Short adding that “if [cyclists] are not wearing reflective clothing or otherwise attracting attention they can be inconspicuous.”
In light of the above remarks it is worth reiterating that this collision occurred in broad daylight, at 2pm in May. Lights are neither required nor the norm; reflective clothing would have been of zero effect; and even the colour of clothing would not necessarily have been a factor in conspicuity.
Short recorded a verdict of death by road traffic collision.