The family of a medical student killed by a minibus while cycling in Edinburgh have received compensation three years after the tragic accident.
Zhi Min Soh, 23, died after she was run over by a driver of a Rabbie’s Tours 16-seater minibus just beyond the junction between Princes Street and Lothian Road on May 31, 2017.
The young woman’s parents requested a specialist cycling firm to investigate a civil claim for damages one year later in a bid to try and understand the circumstances surrounding their daughter’s death.
The insurers of the minibus denied liability stating that the close proximity between Zhi Min Soh and their policyholder’s vehicle did not demonstrate negligence on the part of the driver.
A case was raised in Scotland’s highest civil court, The Court of Session, and while there was no formal admission of liability, the insurers agreed to compensate the family for their grief and sorrow at losing the bright, young woman.
At the time, there was much speculation that it was Zhi Min Soh’s bicycle wheel which had become trapped in a tram rail causing her to lose her balance.
While the cause of her fall has not been determined, the driver did fail to stop in time and collided with the student, dragging her underneath the bus.
Despite the incident happening at rush hour in the city centre, there were no eyewitnesses to the collision, nor was there any clear CCTV footage available.
It was confirmed the tour bus had been travelling within the 20mph speed limit behind Zhi Min Soh on Princes Street, but, on approach to the junction, the driver was unable to stop in time, which resulted in the young woman’s tragic death.
Jodi Gordon, partner at Cycle Law Scotland, the specialist firm which carried out the investigation on behalf of the family, said: “It is important that we learn lessons from this tragic case.
“There is no doubt that crossing tramlines poses a hazard to cyclists as do potholes, drain covers and a host of other road surface defects. It is so important to give cyclists room and not just when passing.
“Drivers must leave room in front to allow a cyclist to cope with a potential hazard safely, as after all, when driving behind a cyclist, remember that you are in control of a potential lethal weapon, capable of causing great harm.
“Whatever caused Zhi Min to fall from her bicycle on the 31st May 2017 may never be known but had she been given sufficient room by the tour bus driver, she would most likely still be here. She would by now have completed her Medical Degree and returned to Malaysia to be with her family.
“Zhi Min’s death was avoidable. The hope is that we learn from this unnecessary loss of life. As drivers, we must learn to recognise the vulnerability of cyclists and the fragility of life as we interact together on the roads.”
At the time of the accident Dr David Kluth, from Edinburgh University's medical school, said: "Zhi Min was a talented, thoughtful student, who was well-respected by her peers and always keen to help.
"She will be deeply missed by the medical school community.
"Our sympathies at this time are with her family and friends. We have all lost a bright star of the future."
Rabbie’s Tours has been contacted to comment.