32 year old woman dies after being hit by lorry in Camberwell

London Cycling Campaign is shocked and saddened to hear that another young woman has lost her life on London’s roads.

The 32-year-old woman was hit by a lorry while she was cycling on Denmark Hill, at the junction with Orpheus Street in Camberwell, on Thursday 28 May just before 8am.

Esther Hartsilver

The victim has now been named by the police as Esther Hartsilver. As reported in the Evening Standard, Esther was on her way to work as a physiotherapist at Kings College Hospital a few minutes ride along Denmark Hill. A statement from King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: "We have lost a dear and respected colleague. The thoughts of everyone at King’s are with Esther’s family."

She was taken by ambulance to the trauma centre at the same hospital but lost her fight for life on Thursday evening. She is the sixth person to be killed while cycling on London’s roads in 2015. All six of the collisions involved heavy goods vehicles. One – in which 25-year-old Federica Baldassa was killed at Vernon Place in Bloomsbury – also involved a delivery truck.

We understand that the lorry involved in Thursday’s incident was a three axle articulated lorry doing deliveries for The Co-op supermarket.  It was turning left from Denmark Hill into Orpheus Road, which is part of a mini one way system leading to Coldharbour Lane. 

Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the collision, or the events leading up to the collision, to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit at Catford on 020 8285 1574.

The restricted view from most lorry cabs means drivers are not fully aware of what is in their immediate vicinity, be it a pedestrian or a cyclist. Direct vision cabs, such as those on show at the CLOCS conference earlier this year, have a lower driving position and offer the driver a direct view of pedestrians and cyclists in close proximity to their vehicle. These vehicle designs are available and commonly used for refuse collection lorries. London Cycling Campaign is calling for widespread adoption of lorries with direct vision cabs, together with restrictions on lorry movements and prioritising safe conditions for people on foot or bike during roadworks.

Better road design is also crucial in reducing collisions. Over 70% of serious injury or fatal collisions happen at junctions. A major cause of these injuries and deaths is left turning motor traffic, known as the ‘left-hook’. Versions of ‘cycle segregated’ junction designs, which LCC has long championed, are starting to appear in Transport for London’s plans – for example on some of the new cycle superhighways which are currently being constructed.

Help the inquiry

Many people who ride in the area have told us about difficulties and bad experiences at the junction of Orpheus Street where traffic heading for Cold Harbour Lane turns left into the one-way street. The police are interested in getting more information about this. If you ride through here regularly let us know what happens in comments section below this story. We will pass this information on to the police.



There will be a vigil organised by the Stop Killing Cyclists group on Monday 8th June 2015 meeting at Camberwell Green at 6pm for 6:30pm.



On the same tragic day, a cyclist in her 50s was killed in horrific circumstances just outside London near Walton-on-Thames. The cyclist was hit by a van which then collided with a tanker lorry and another car.

A Surrey police spokesman said: "A 34-year-old man from Walton-on-Thames has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified and driving with no insurance. I can confirm it is the van driver who has been arrested. He remains in custody at this time."