November 17, 2015
The High Court has approved a settlement of compensation for injuries in a cycling accident in favour of a former journalist injured on her way to work.
On 4th November 2011, Mary Bowers (31) – a journalist for The Times – was cycling to work at the News International building in Wapping, East London. As she stopped at a red light on Dock Street – 90 metres from her workplace – a 33 tonne lorry pulled up behind her. Unfortunately, the driver of the lorry – Petre Beiu – was distracted by a mobile phone call and failed to engage the handbrake.
As Mary waited for the lights to change, the lorry rolled over her – causing Mary to suffer a severe brain injury, two broken legs, a severed artery, a punctured lung, a broken arm and a broken pelvis. Emergency services arrived at the scene within minutes, but Mary fell into a coma. She is now only minimally conscious and reside in a rehabilitation unit in Brentwood, Essex.
Following a police investigation, Beiu was found guilty of careless driving, fined £2,700 and disqualified from driving for eight months. Following Beiu´s conviction at Snaresbrook Crown Court in December 2012, Mary´s father – Peter – claimed compensation for injuries in a cycling accident on behalf of his critically injured daughter.
At the High Court in London, Mr Justice Supperstone heard how Mary was a bright and intelligent woman with a promising career at The Times ahead of her. The judge also heard that, on the day of the accident, Mary had been wearing a cycling helmet and a high-visibility jacket, and that she had remained in a designated cycling lane before moving into the cyclist stopping box at the traffic lights.
The judge was told that the undisclosed settlement of compensation for injuries in a cycling accident – funded by Beiu´s insurance company – would be used to move Mary into a private bungalow and to provide lifelong care and therapy. Judge Supperstone said that he had no hesitation in approving the settlement.
Speaking after the approval hearing, Peter Bowers told his local newspaper: “The impact of Mary’s injuries has been devastating to her – her career was flourishing and she had her whole life ahead of her. We are relieved that now she will have access to vital funds which will help go toward specialist treatment to help and support her through her ongoing rehabilitation.”