The cyclist killed on Thursday morning on Commerical Road has been named as Javed Sumbal, a local sandwich courier who was working to fund his MBA.
Sumbal was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which occurred at 8.20am. He was on his first round of the day delivering sandwiches by bike for Darwin’s Deli on Barnado Street, Stepney.
A group of school children witnessed the accident and the moments after as a passer-by, trained in first aid, tried to resuscitate him. The driver of the Dutch-registered lorry was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, area manager Ricardo Jacques said: “It was impossible not to like him. He was a big guy and larger than life in every way. He was always happy and lifted your mood.
Traffic was badly affected as Commercial Road, one of east London’s main thoroughfares, was closed in both directions until at least midday.
It is the fourteenth death of a cyclist on London roads this year, and the fifth fatality as a result of a lorry collision.
Ashok Sinha, chief executive of the London Cycling Campaign, said: “The occurence of yet another cyclist-lorry fatality reinforces the urgent need to address the large proportion of cyclists killed in lorry crashes every year.
“Every lorry on London’s streets should be driven by someone who’s had cyclist awareness training, on a bike as well as in a classroom.”
People have taken to Twitter since the accident occurred to send messages of sadness, condolence and disbelief.