Cleared: Willesden lorry driver accused of causing cyclist’s death in horror crash

Janina Gehlau (Pic credit: City of London Police)

Janina Gehlau (Pic credit: City of London Police) - Credit: Archant

A lorry driver from Willesden who crushed a cyclist beneath the wheels of his vehicle has been cleared today of causing the woman’s death by dangerous driving.

Vincent Doyle, 45, Astley Avenue, hit German postgraduate student Janina Gehlau, 26, as he turned left at Ludgate Circus in the City of London on October 17, 2014.

The Old Bailey heard Ms Gelau was in the cycle lane heading for the cycle stop box, while Doyle was indicating left.

His lorry was also playing a recorded message of two beeps followed by the words ‘stand clear, this vehicle is turning left’ for the 23 seconds he was waiting at the lights.

It was claimed he should have had a clear view of her in his nearside mirrors for between three to five seconds before he turned.

Jurors heard his mirrors were not positioned at the optimum angle but he should have been able to see her before he turned.

Doyle, who has held a HGV licence for the past 25 years, insisted he checked his mirrors at least five times during his wait and did not see the victim.

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A jury took less than an hour to clear Doyle of causing Ms Gelau’s death by dangerous driving today.

Ms Gelau’s husband Marcel burst into tears and was unable to stand for several minutes.

Judge Gerald Gordon said: “I want to make it clear that this verdict is no criticism of Ms Gelau whatsoever, it may well be that the rules of the road in Germany are not the same as here.”

During the three day trial, jurors heard how Doyle had suffered a nervous breakdown in the wake of the accident, and had spent eight weeks in a psychiatric hospital.

He said his reaction was all part of the shock of what had happened.