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Tipper truck driver killed designer

  • James Kwatia, 42, ran over designer Moira Gemmill as she cycled to her work
  • Old Bailey heard Kwatia failed to give the 55-year-old enough room on the road
  • Miss Gemmill was crushed to death under the wheels of a lorry in south London
  • Tipper truck driver Kwatia denies a charge of causing death by careless driving

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James Kwatia (pictured), 42, crushed Moira Gemmill, 55, to death under the wheels of his lorry when he cut across to the side of the curb at a roundabout near Lambeth Bridge in south London, jurors were told

James Kwatia (pictured), 42, crushed Moira Gemmill, 55, to death under the wheels of his lorry when he cut across to the side of the curb at a roundabout near Lambeth Bridge in south London, jurors were told

A tipper truck driver killed a designer hand-picked by the Queen[2] to restore Windsor Castle as she cycled to work after failing to give her enough room on the road, a court heard.

James Kwatia, 42, crushed 55-year-old Moira Gemmill to death under the wheels of his lorry when he cut across to the side of the curb at a roundabout near Lambeth Bridge in south London[3], jurors were told.

Miss Gemmill, who was chosen to oversee renovations at Windsor Castle as the director of design at the Royal Collection Trust, was knocked off her bike and died instantly.

CCTV cameras captured Miss Gemmill’s bicycle and Kwatia’s Mercedes truck travelling up Lambeth Palace Road and crossing the Thames together at around 9.30am on the morning of April 9, 2015.

When the cycle lane ‘ran out’ just before the roundabout, Kwatia cut across to the left and collided with Miss Gemmill, jurors heard.

Prosecutor Mark Gadsden said Kwatia was concentrating on oncoming traffic before crossing the roundabout instead of paying attention to cyclists on his near side.

He told the Old Bailey: ‘As a road user crossing the bridge you realise the cycle lane may run out but the cyclists who had been in the cycle lane are still there so you have to afford room to pass on your near side.

‘Mr Kwatia positioned his lorry right over to the pavement so as to leave no room for any cycles to pass by.

‘He has pulled across to the left and he is concentrating on the oncoming traffic.

He has failed to concentrate on the cyclist.

‘As he accelerated to get on to the roundabout to go into Horseferry Road his speed was greater than Miss Gemmill’s and that is why his lorry hit her cycle with tragic consequences.’

Miss Gemmill, who was chosen to oversee renovations at Windsor Castle as the director of design at the Royal Collection Trust, was knocked off her bike and died instantly Kwatia is pictured outside court

Miss Gemmill (left), who was chosen to oversee renovations at Windsor Castle as the director of design at the Royal Collection Trust, died instantly.

Kwatia is pictured right outside court

Miss Gemmill, who was chosen to oversee renovations at Windsor Castle as the director of design at the Royal Collection Trust, was knocked off her bike and died instantly

Miss Gemmill, who was chosen to oversee renovations at Windsor Castle as the director of design at the Royal Collection Trust, was knocked off her bike and died instantly

Jurors heard there was no suggestion of any fault with the truck or that the road conditions on the dry and sunny day were to blame for the collision.

Mr Gadsden said Kwatia either failed to use his mirrors properly so as to be aware of cyclists or did not afford them enough room.

The prosecutor added: ‘His careless driving was the cause of the fatal accident and death.’

CCTV footage of the collision was played in court as members of Miss Gemmill’s family listened to the opening of the prosecution case.

Tragic: Miss Gemmill's role with the Royal Collection Trust involved spearheading the modernisation of Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Tragic: Miss Gemmill’s role with the Royal Collection Trust involved spearheading the modernisation of Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Miss Gemmill, who lived alone in a townhouse in Kennington, south London, was swept under the wheels as the truck went around the roundabout.

The truck driver stopped at the scene and told police that he was aware of the cyclists on his near side.

Mr Gadsden told jurors they would have to decide whether Kwatia’s driving ‘fell below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver’.

The prosecutor said they should put out of their minds any emotions aroused by the fatal accident.

He said: ‘Tragically there have been a number of deaths of cyclists under the wheels of lorries in London in the last year.

‘Recently two cyclists were killed within a 24 hour period.’

Earlier this month Anita Szucs, 30, was killed in a suspected hit and run crash as she cycled home from work in Enfield and 32 year old Karla Roman was crushed under a coach on a cycle superhighway in Whitechapel.

Miss Gemmill’s role with the Royal Collection Trust involved spearheading the modernisation of Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

She previously served a 13-year tenure at the V&A where she oversaw the award-winning modernisation of the galleries.

Her work was lauded as one of the factors in a major increase in visitor numbers.

Kwatia, of Catford, south east London, denies a single charge of causing death by careless driving.

The trial continues.

Cyclists, friends and co-workers from the V&A Museum paid tribute to Moira Gemmill in a vigil in Lambeth Bridge approximately month after she was killed in a road traffic collision

Cyclists, friends and co-workers from the V&A Museum paid tribute to Moira Gemmill in a vigil in Lambeth Bridge approximately month after she was killed in a road traffic collision

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References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ Queen (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  3. ^ London (www.dailymail.co.uk)

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