Terminally ill mother's anguish at her son's killer's apology snub

Croydon Guardian: Neil Turner Neil Turner

The terminally ill mother of a cyclist killed after being hit by a car has been left without the apology she wanted from her son's killer.

Neil Turner, 31, had been on his way to work at Morden Underground Station when he was hit by a car driven by Leroy James in Mitcham Road, Thornton Heath.

Beryl Turner said the shock of her son's death on July 11, 2012, had given her cancer and she had hoped at the inquest into his death today she would get an apology.

But this did not happen and now the 69-year-old is simply hoping to live long enough to meet her new grandchild who is due in three weeks time. She said: "I would have liked to hear an apology, a sorry would have been nice from the driver.

"This is the first time we have seen the driver."

At the time of the crash at about 5.10am Mr James was driving back from Gatwick airport after a holiday in Turkey.

His car hit the back of Mr Turner's bicycle and the cyclist, who was not wearing a helmet, died at the scene after sustaining a severe head injury.

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Jeff Edwards said the tiredness of the painter and decorator after his holiday may have played a part in the accident.

He said: "Mr James left his hotel at 8am the previous morning Turkish time, so 6am British time.

"He had a full day of sightseeing including visiting some mud baths then in the late evening he had a meal and a single beer before arriving back at Gatwick at 3.10am.

"During his police interview he said he had slept on the flight.

"I think we will never know the full set of circumstances but I do believe that driver fatigue possibly played a part in this."

Giving evidence at the inquest at Croydon Coroner's Court, Mr James said he did not see the tube driver until it was too late.

He said: "I was just driving home and looking forward to going home and thinking about the things I was going to do later that day.

"Then Mr Turner just appeared from the left and tragically I collided with him.

"I did not see him until literally I came across him and we collided.

"I think of it every day."

Recording a verdict of accidental death coroner Dr Roy Palmer said: "I'm very sorry to the family that you lost a loved member of the family in such circumstances.

"We cannot be sure exactly what happened but I'm sorry it happened.

"I'm sorry that as is often the case in traffic deaths one never gets all the answers."

On the day of Mr Turner's funeral his family said Morden tube station was closed as all the drivers wanted to be part of the 400 strong congregation.

Mrs Turner added: "He was a lovely boy.He was into his biking, motor biking, Mini driving.

"He was full of laughter and made everybody else laugh."

Mr Turner, from Bromley, left behind a fiancée Paula Smith and their five-month-old son Archie.

Comments (1)

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10:27am Sat 15 Mar 14

G_Whiz says...

It's just so easy to take a life and hide behind the 'it was an accident' excuse, compounded by the pure arrogance of not appologising for his part in this terrible waste of life.

Yet another snapshot of all that is wrong with society today.
It's just so easy to take a life and hide behind the 'it was an accident' excuse, compounded by the pure arrogance of not appologising for his part in this terrible waste of life. Yet another snapshot of all that is wrong with society today. G_Whiz
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