The remarkable story of how a driver ‘lost control’, and careered the wrong way up a one-way system, injuring three people, because… someone on a bike shouted at him.
A driver whose car mowed down pedestrians and smashed into a bus during Kingston’s rush hour said he panicked after colliding with a cyclist who shouted at him. A woman, who sustained non-life-threatening leg fractures, was airlifted from Cromwell Road after the crash outside Kingston train station at about 6pm last night.
Two others were injured though not seriously, police said. A man who had fled war-torn Syria and a woman were taken to Kingston Hospital.
Shibob Li, 49, the manager of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in Fife Road, was at the wheel of the BMW that careered out of Fife Road the wrong way into Clarence Street. He was also injured and treated in the town centre before spending the next few hours inside his shop.
Mr Li said he lost control of the car after colliding with a cyclist who shouted at him. He said: “It is really regrettable all this happened. I just wish them to get better quickly and wish them the best. I am very, very sorry. I was panicked and lost control of the car. It happened really quickly and I didn’t have any time to think about it. I was shocked and shaking.”
He said: “Of course I regret. But it is not just my fault. He started shouting and caused my panic. I was panicked and lost control of the car. I think people cycling, they need to pay due attention. There are too many bicycle people on the road. They do not really watch the other people. Sometimes they just come quickly. I never expected this would happen to me.”
It’s not clear from this deeply strange account whether the man on the bike’s yelling – which apparently is the root cause of all this carnage – came before or after he was hit by the driver.
Other evidence suggests, however, that the cyclist was hit on a cycle crossing, as the driver turned completely the wrong way up Clarence Street. This from the sister-in-law of the Syrian refugee, Yassar, who was hit –
“He never got injured [in Syria] but managed to get injured in Kingston. They were going to have some Shawarma at Lebanese Valley. He was standing across the street to Cappadocia. The BMW came against the traffic and it hit the cyclist. My husband and Yassar were walking together. When they saw the car aiming for them my husband jumped and managed to step away but Yassar couldn’t. The car hit him from the side and went on and hit a few other people afterwards. He hit his head and the car hit him in both legs and his back.”
That is – the driver turned the wrong way, hitting the man on the bike before going on to hit the pedestrians, and the bus. Quite how this cyclist yelling, either before or after he was hit, ’caused’ this driver to panic and speed away straight into a group of people is a complete mystery.
Maybe it’s because ‘there are too many bicycle people on the road’.
(T-shirt by Dave Atkinson)