Lawyers for the family of a 34 year old cyclist who was killed after he was in collision with a tipper truck have said more must be done to protect cyclists as the driver of the tipper truck, Robert Taylor, was today sentenced to an immediate 20 week custodial sentence, half to be served in custody and half on licence, for causing the death of music producer, Akis Kollaros, as a result of careless driving.
Mr Taylor was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.
Mr Kollaros, a Greek national working and living in London, was killed as he cycled to work. The collision with the tipper truck being driven by Robert Taylor occurred as Mr Taylor turned left into Homerton High St, East London without indicating.
On sentencing, the Judge, Noel Lucas QC said, “I want it clearly understood by those who drive vehicles of this type that they must take the greatest of care whilst driving in the streets of London to avoid precisely this type of accident.”
Mr Kollaros’ mother, Maria Kollarou, who flew from Greece for the hearing, said “Nothing can bring back the son I loved so dearly. I sincerely hope that lessons have been learnt from this tragic incident and that cycling on London’s roads will become safer as result of Akis’s death. I wish to offer my support to people who have faced similar situations and hope that we can, together, find a way to ensure that such incidents do not occur again.”
Sally Moore, Partner at Leigh Day, specialists in cycling claims, who is representing the family of Mr Kollaros, commented, “Cycling should be a safe, healthy and environmentally sound means of transport; sadly the actions of a minority of drivers result in tragedies like this one.
"Akis was an experienced cyclist, a member of the British Cycling Association and London Dynamo Cycling Club. We will now be pursuing a civil action on behalf of Mrs Kollarou.”
Mr Kollaros graduated from the London College of Music and had set up his own studio producing albums by leading groups on the UK’s heavy metal scene. Friends called him, “An incredible man, immensely talented, unfailingly kind and generous” and added that he will be desperately missed by all who knew him.
Jo Lord, a close friend of Mr Kollaros, said, “Though Mr Taylor has accepted responsibility for the tragedy, we feel that local councils and the government also hold some responsibility for the death of our Akis. More should be done to protect cyclists and other vulnerable road users through revision and better consideration of routes, access and operational hours of HGVs, buses and other large vehicles in Central London, ensuring such vehicles are more responsibly and thoughtfully routed to suit their size, avoiding narrow streets and sharp turns like that of the Wardle Street/Homerton High Street junction.”