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Cyclist killed near Holborn station is named as children’s doctor

·5-min read
Dr Marta Krawiec “died on the way to her patients”.  (Met police)
Dr Marta Krawiec “died on the way to her patients”. (Met police)

A children’s doctor has been named as the cyclist killed in a horrific collision with a left-turning lorry on Wednesday morning.

Dr Marta Krawiec, 41, who worked as a paediatrician and allergy expert at a clinic in Clapham, died at the scene of the crash, at the junction of Southampton Row and Theobalds, near Holborn station.

Dr Krawiec, who made the move from Poland to London in 2016, was cycling to work at the time.

In a family statement released by the Metropolitan Police, her parents said: “Marta loved helping other people every day. She died on the way to her patients. 

“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved daughter and sister. We thank all the witnesses who are helping people in their investigation.”

Detective Sergeant Nush Puvitharan said: “We continue to appeal for any witnesses to come forward to police. Were you driving through the area between 8.50am and 9am? Did you witness the incident or might you have captured dash cam footage? 

“A woman has sadly died and it is vital we speak to you. No piece of information is insignificant.”

Transport chiefs are under pressure to explain why £12.5m of safety improvements had been delayed in the area.

 (Nigel Howard)
(Nigel Howard)

Flowers were being laid at the crash scene on Thursday morning in memory of Dr Krawiec.

Dr Krawiec is the seventh cyclist to die on London’s roads this year, the fourth in a crash involving a lorry or HGV.

 (Nigel Howard)
(Nigel Howard)

One cyclist laying flowers at the scene today told the Standard: “I was very close behind when it happened. I didn’t see the exact collision but was about 10 seconds behind.

“As I approached I could hear shouting and screaming. There was quite a commotion. People were quite distressed. People were looking away or covering their eyes. A lot of people were calling ambulances.

“People were tending to her. Her bike had been knocked to one side.”

Activists from the London Cycling Campaign gathered at the junction on Thursday morning to launch a petition demanding action to tackle the capital’s most dangerous junctions.

They say that much of the work planned by TfL had virtually ground to a halt ahead of the pandemic, during which the focus switched to installing pop-up routes that often left junctions unchanged.

In March 2019, City Hall announced that a number of roads around Holborn had been included in one of 11 “liveable neighbourhood” schemes to share in £53.4 million from Mayor Sadiq Khan to reduce car use and improve air quality and the environment.

 (Nigel Howard)
(Nigel Howard)

The £12.5m of changes at Holborn included the removal of the Holborn one-way gyratory and the pedestrianisation of part of New Oxford Street.

At the time, six cyclists had been killed near Holborn in the last decade, including the Queen’s homeopath Dr Peter Fisher in 2018 and Alan Neve, whose death in 2013 sparked the first of many mass demonstrations calling for improved road safety.

London Cycling Campaign said “no progress” had been made since Camden council won the liveable neighbourhood funding two years ago.

LCC infrastructure campaigner Simon Munk today called on Camden and TfL to implement the long-promised safety improvements.

“If we don’t do that, we are going to end up with having another fatality at this junction or elsewhere on the Holborn gyratory,” he told the Standard.

“I’m stood at the junction right now and I can see a white ghost bike. This is part of the infamous Holborn gyratory system. It’s recognised as one of the most dangerous spots for cycling in London. It’s infamously hostile.”

The Met police said officers were called at 8.54am by London Ambulance Service after reports of a collision between a cyclist and a HGV.

Dr Krawiec was found with life-threatening injuries. Despite the efforts of the emergency services, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The lorry driver stopped at the scene. Enquiries are ongoing and no arrests have been made.

TfL said the seven cyclist deaths so far this year was well ahead of the same stage in previous years. There had been three deaths by this time last year, two in 2019 and none in 2018.

Only three of the cyclists killed this year have been named publicly - Michael Stapleton, Imelda Seymour and Hilary Wilmer.

Sam Monck, TfL’s head of healthy streets delivery, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the woman who was tragically killed while cycling in Holborn. 

“Every death on London’s streets is one too many and we’re committed to eliminating all deaths and serious injuries as part of our Vision Zero approach. We’re determined to make all roads safer and are working closely with Camden council on how to do this in Holborn as soon as possible.”

Adam Harrison, Camden’s cabinet member for a sustainable Camden, said: “We wish to send our condolences to the family and friends of the person who has tragically lost their life.

“Any road death is one too many. Improving safety for all road users is paramount for Camden. Over the last year we have made many changes as part of our efforts to reach ‘Vision Zero’ of no deaths or serious injuries on London’s roads. But we must still do more and this is a stark reminder that this work is urgent and we must redouble our efforts.

“We are working with the police and Transport for London and will await the findings of any investigation into the circumstances that led to this fatality.”

Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or the witness line on 0208 246 9820 quoting CAD 1726/04Aug.

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