Court hears Edinburgh cyclist died in collision with HGV half a mile from his home

An Edinburgh University PHD student was killed in a horror collision with an HGV just half a mile from his home, a court heard.

Stuart Elliott was cycling to work when he was struck by a tipper truck driven by 60-year-old John Crowe as the pair travelled through a busy junction in Portobello, Edinburgh.

Mr Elliot, 40, who was expecting his first child with his partner, died at the scene following the incident at around 10 am on March 13, 2019.

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Truck driver Crowe, from Kirkcaldy, Fife, is standing trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court this week accused of causing Mr Elliott’s death by careless driving.

Witness Gary Parks and victim Stuart Elliott pictures: supplied

Fellow lorry driver Gary Parks told the trial he witnessed the collision while he was waiting to turn right at a set of traffic lights at the capital’s Sir Harry Lauder Road.

Mr Parks, 46, said the junction was “relatively busy” and the conditions that morning were “dry and sunny”.

He said he glanced to his right and spotted the cyclist and the tipper truck were “stationary” at traffic lights and that he attempted to warn Crowe that the cyclist was close to his front bumper by blasting his horn.

The driver said the cyclist’s back tyre was “almost on his bumper” and added “I said to myself ‘I hope that driver sees the cyclist’.

Trucker Gary Parks who witnessed the tragedy

“I’m pretty sure the cyclist slipped a gear and gave a slight wobble [as he made off].

“When I first saw them I knew it would be really hard for the driver to see him.”

Mr Parks, an army veteran, said he sounded his horn towards Crowe to alert him to the cyclist’s presence at the front of his vehicle.

He added: “The truck then hit the back tyre and the cyclist came off and landed flat facing the kerb.

Victim: Stuart Elliott

“In my opinion he [Crowe] had just pulled off so he was lucky if he was doing five to 10 mph.”

The court was told Mr Elliott lived at Bath Street in Portobello which is around half a mile from the scene, and that he was pronounced dead at 10.29am.

Evidence which had been agreed between the Crown and the defence prior to the trial starting also stated truck driver Crowe had later passed an eye test.

Social worker Alan Wylie, 35, gave evidence that he was sitting in the line traffic directly behind Crowe’s truck just before the collision took place.

Mr Wylie said he believed the truck was turning left due to being in the filter lane.

He added: “I wasn’t aware of any cyclist prior to the lights changing.

“I first became aware when I heard a loud metal bang.”

The motorist added he wasn’t sure what clothing the cyclist was wearing or if he had a helmet on.

Crowe denies causing the death of Stuart Elliott by driving an HGV without due care and attention and a failing to carry out mirror checks and failing to observe Mr Elliott on his bike and colliding with him at Portobello High Street and Sir Harry Lauder Road in Edinburgh on March 13, 2019.

The trial in front of Sheriff Thomas Welsh QC continues.

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