Inquest can’t unwrap mystery of respected doctor’s death in Highgate bike crash

13:00 24 July 2014

Dr Clive Richards

Dr Clive Richards


The death of a respected doctor described as “the best dad in the world” has remained a mystery after an inquest failed to reveal how he was knocked off his bike in a crash with a lorry in Highgate.

Dr Clive Richards, 67, died from multiple injuries when his head was hit by the lorry’s back wheel after a fall from his bike in Archway Road on August 5 last year.

Deputy coroner John Taylor told Barnet Coroner’s Court on Monday that there was not enough evidence to determine whether Dr Richards had been knocked off his bike by the lorry and whether the crash could have been avoided.

His son, Peter Richards, said after the inquest that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, should stop encouraging people to ride on the capital’s roads until they are made safer for cyclists.

“He was a lovely man, so gentle,” said Peter, 35, a department store team leader of Burnt Oak. “He was the best dad in the world and my right hand.

“He just had time for everybody and was so well loved.

“I’m a cyclist myself but it annoys me to see a culture that’s encouraging cycling so much.

“London is a terrible place for cyclists. Boris Johnson now needs to act hard if he wants to promote it to make it a safer option.”

The inquest heard that CCTV footage, not played in court, showed the lorry appeared to move to the right towards Dr Richards, who was on his way to work at Hornsey Rise Health Centre in Archway.

However, Pc Donald Macalpine, who investigated the crash, said the quality of the footage was too poor to determine whether this was before or after Dr Richards fell from his bike.

There was no evidence at the scene to show the crash’s cause.

Lorry driver Dharminder Singh told the deputy coroner that he first saw Dr Richards in his mirrors riding alongside his vehicle when the road was wider, about 500 metres before the crash.


The next time he looked, he saw that Dr Richards had fallen from his bike and was lying in the road. He stopped almost immediately and called the emergency services. He did not hear or feel the crash and was adamant that he did not hit Dr Richards.

The deputy coroner recorded a narrative verdict and said: “Dr Clive Richards suffered fatal head injuries when the proximity of his bike and the lorry being driven in the same direction became so reduced that it caused him to fall to the road and be struck by the lorry. It has not been possible on the evidence available to see whether the fall was caused by the collision between him, the bicycle and the lorry, or whether it could have been avoided.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Camden Borough Commander CS Penny Banham. Picture: Polly Hancock

Camden’s new top cop has criticised proposals put forward by Hampstead residents to fund their own police officers – saying it would “not set a good precedent” for the rest of London.

Athlone House, taken in 2011. Picture: Michael Hammerson

The owners of historic Athlone House near Hampstead Heath are to take their bid to demolish the mansion to the High Court.

A 22-year-old man was stabbed at Walker House in Phoenix Street, Somers Town

A 15-year-old boy has been arrested after a man was stabbed at a block of flats in Somers Town, Camden.

Comedian David Baddiel with highly commended Young Person of the Year James Curtis. Picture: Richard Tatham

Fourteen-year-old James Curtis was just eight months old when he was diagnosed as deaf.

Yesterday, 17:55
Sydney Road in Muswell Hill. Picture: Polly Hancock

A 40 year old man has been charged with possession of an offensive weapon and grievous bodily harm.

Yesterday, 17:31
Rimon Jewish Primary School in Golders Green. Picture: Polly Hancock

A Jewish free school has been criticised by the government after its admissions policy was found to favour families who paid subscription fees to certain synagogues.

Yesterday, 15:20
The meeting will see the Syrian refugee crisis discussed Picture: Angelika Warmuth/ DPA Germany

Community groups in Haringey are meeting to decide how best to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Yesterday, 12:56
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson opens the new Archer Academy campus. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A free school’s £14million new campus has been officially opened by Paralympic champion Lady Tanni Grey-Thompson.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

You won't need to fork out for groceries for a while!

Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets, prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here!

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder