Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Student Killed on Boris Bike 'Had Such a Big Heart and Was Always Smiling'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Student Killed on Boris Bike 'Had Such a Big Heart and Was Always Smiling'

Article excerpt

Byline: Nick Hodgson and Benedict Moore-Bridger

THE family of the first cyclist to be killed while riding a Boris bike told today of their devastation.

French student Philippine De Gerin-Ricard, 20, was knocked down by a lorry outside Aldgate East Tube station as she rode home along the Mayor's Cycle Superhighway 2 on Whitechapel High Street.

An inquest today heard that a CCTV system fitted to the lorry had recorded the accident on Friday evening.

Her family, who flew from their home in the south of France to identify her body, said today they were in shock.

One of her six siblings, who asked not to be named, said: "She was a lovely person. All the people we have met in London just say Philippine had an amazing impact on their lives.

"She was always smiling. She had the biggest heart of anyone I've ever known, hard working and very popular, with so many friends everywhere and she knew how to enjoy herself. Everyone is really shocked about what happened. They just can't believe it."

Ms De Gerin-Ricard was taken to the Royal London Hospital but was pronounced dead a short while later. The student, who lived in Bow, is the first fatality since the cycle hire scheme began in 2010. She had come to London to improve her English during the third year of a business management course at a private school in Avignon and was doing work experience at Marks & Spencer. Ms De Gerin-Ricard, who was living in east London with friends, used the hire bikes every day for her journey to and from work, her sister said. "All we know is that she was riding next to a big truck and tried to stop because she thought the driver had not seen her, but apparently she fell or there was a problem."

On Monday, a police community support officer at the scene claimed the hire bike could have been laden with shopping which may have caused Ms De Gerin-Ricard to swerve into something and then be thrown into the path of the lorry. …

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