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Cyclist Almost Killed by Lorry Driver Who Claims Not To Have Seen Him

09 August 2010

A cyclist who was almost killed by a lorry driver who claimed he didn’t see him is supporting an awareness campaign, alongside his solicitors who successfully recovered compensation for his extensive and life changing injuries.

Russell Jones & Walker, the Manchester solicitors who acted for injured cyclist Keith Graham, has launched the 2 Way Street Campaign, calling for a better understanding between HGV drivers and cyclists as well as more cycle lanes in and around the city.

Keith Graham, from the Wirral,  was a serving police officer with Merseyside Police Force when the accident happened.  Tracey Graham, the solicitor from Russell Jones & Walker who represented Keith said:  “He is one of many cyclists who are injured on UK roads due to a lack of mutual understanding between cyclists and lorry drivers.”  

Mr Graham (no relation) was struck from behind by a HGV lorry whilst cycling along Millbank in Liverpool.  As a result of the severe collision, he was thrown from his bicycle and suffered multiple, life threatening injuries and was in intensive care for eight weeks.  He endured a tracheotomy and laparotomy, underwent a colostomy and was also treated for severe kidney and chest infections. The lorry driver, who claims he didn’t see Mr Graham, was banned from driving and also charged with careless driving.

Mr Graham said “The whole experience has been horrendous.  It’s only because of the love and support of my wife, family and friends, that I have managed to stay positive. On a number of occasions I was very close to dying and, even though I have survived, my life, and that of my family, has completely changed, all because a lorry driver couldn’t see me.  

“Taking legal action against the company that employed the driver gave me some comfort and I hope that haulage companies implement better training for their drivers so that this never happens again. I fully support Russell Jones and Walker’s 2 Way Street campaign and hope that the attention it brings to this vital issue will prevent a terrible accident like mine happening again.”

The campaign was launched by Gail Porter on behalf of Russell Jones & Walker, with support from the CTC, a national organisation representing cyclists in the UK, of which Keith is also a member.  

Tracey Graham, head of RJW’s Personal Injury department for the firm’s Manchester office, said:  “All adult cyclists across the UK should have access to national standards cycle training, so that they have the confidence and skills to cycle safely on today’s busy urban roads.   “The 2 Way Street survey has explored, for the first time ever, the relationship between cyclists and lorry drivers and most importantly we now have proof that both parties want more or less the same things so they can share happily the same roads.” Chris Peck, a campaigner from CTC, added: “The CTC would like to see: cycle awareness training for all HGV drivers and access to national standards cycle training; an improvement in the design of HGVs to eliminate blind spots; the adoption of side guards and side indicator repeaters on all HGVs; the restriction of lorries on narrow streets and urban areas and more investment in cycle friendly road design, including quality cycle lanes in the correct places.”
“If a CTC member does have a crash they can access legal advice through the CTC Accident Line, which is operated by RJW.”