Woman hit by police bike 'had view blocked by Coronation decorations'
Elderly woman fighting for life after she was hit by escort cop in Duchess of Edinburgh’s motorcade ‘stepped out in road after her view of oncoming traffic was obscured by black screens to ‘decorate’ junction for Coronation’
- Police escort collided with an elderly woman in Earl’s Court, west London
- The woman, in her 80s, has been taken to hospital and is in a critical condition
- Did you witness the crash or do you know the people involved? Email [email protected]
An elderly woman was struck by the Duchess of Edinburgh’s police motorcade when she stepped out in the road while having her view obstructed by Coronation decorations, an eyewitness has claimed.
The unnamed victim, in her 80s, is fighting for her life after she was ‘flung 40ft’ by an officer’s motorbike, which was escorting Sophie through West London on Wednesday.
The collision took place at around 3.21pm near the junction of Cromwell Road and Warwick Road in Earl’s Court. The victim remains in hospital and her family have been informed.
Eyewitness Martin Hennessy, 62 claimed today that black screens placed around a square brick electricity unit close to the crossing, as part of attempts to ‘decorate’ the area for the Coronation, meant pedestrians were unable to see oncoming traffic.
He told MailOnline: ‘This was an accident waiting to happen. The screens had been put up for the coronation, but it meant that you had to step out a bit into the road to see any traffic.
Eyewitness Martin Hennessy (pictured), 62 claimed today that black screens placed around a square brick electricity unit close to the crossing, as part of attempts to ‘decorate’ the area for the Coronation, meant pedestrians were unable to see oncoming traffic
The unnamed woman, in her 80s, is fighting for her life after she was ‘flung 40ft’ by the officer’s motorbike, which was escorting Sophie through West London on Wednesday
Local residents revealed that they had complained about the black screens (pictured after being taken down following the collision) to the local authority after they were placed there ahead of the coronation
‘I was there soon after it happened and it was carnage. The poor lady was flung about 40ft along the road and paramedics were attending to her. She stepped out a bit to peer around the screens and was hit.’
He added: ‘There have been a lot of near misses there recently because of those screens but getting across that road is dangerous at the best of times because it’s so busy.’
The woman is still reported to be in a critical condition.
Local residents revealed that they had complained about the black screens to the local authority after they were placed there ahead of the coronation. They have been taken down following the crash.
Lucia Zanetton said: ‘These screens caused us a lot of problems because you couldn’t see the traffic properly. A lot of accidents happen in this area because it is a very busy road.
‘When you cross this road you are risking your by life and these screens didn’t help.’
A SEG (Special Escort Group) police bike can be seen inside a police cordon
Emergency services attend the scene of the collision in Cromwell Road in west London
Buckingham Palace said the Duchess of Edinburgh’s ‘thoughts and prayers are with the injured lady and her family’
Michael MacNish, 78, said: ‘This area is a death trap for pedestrians. We have fatal accidents all the time. A lot of us complained to the council about the danger of these screens but nothing was done.’
Fiona El-Lasbi, 55, told MailOnline how she saw medics giving the woman CPR out her window.
She said: ‘It was horrific. The elderly woman was just beginning to cross the road when she was hit.
‘It must have been an awful impact as she ended up on the other side of the road by a tree near my house.
‘I saw medics attending to her afterwards while forensics laid out numbered cones where she was flung about 40ft. I’m really hoping for a miracle and she pulls through.’
Buckingham Palace said the Duchess of Edinburgh’s ‘thoughts and prayers are with the injured lady and her family’, adding she was grateful for the ‘swift response’ of emergency services. There are no reports of any other injuries.
Road closures were in place in West Cromwell Road near Earl’s Court in West London
The crash occurred on the A4 Cromwell Road junction with Nevern Road in Earl’s Court, west London
The crash occurred on a busy junction of Cromwell Road and Nevern Road on the A4 in Earl’s Court, west London, a just a few minutes’ drive from Kensington Palace
Pictures taken at the scene showed a Special Escort Group police bike – commonly used to escort royals and high profile government officials – inside a police cordon surrounded by medical equipment.
A brown paper bag was strewn on the road surface, along with other shopping including a face mask and what appears to be a bottle of hand sanitizer.
Elsewhere, a solitary shoe – a trainer – was spotted lying to the left of the police motorbike, with a marker placed next to it. It is unknown if this trainer belonged to the victim.
The crash occurred on the A4, which is one of the busiest dual carriageways in west London, yards from a large Tesco superstore.
The Met police said enquiries into the circumstances leading up to the collision are ongoing.
Road closures remained in place until early evening while the scene was dealt with.
A Met spokesman confirmed the force’s Directorate of Professional Standards has been alerted about the incident, as is routine.
Alongside her husband Edward, the Duchess of Edinburgh, 58, attended the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on Saturday.
The pair then appeared with the Prince and Princess of Wales yesterday, to host the Buckingham Palace garden party.
They’re often regarded as two of the most popular members of the monarchy – and it seems Sophie, 58, and Kate, 41, are set to become the power duo of Charles’ new look firm
The Princess of Wales, 41, teamed up with Duchess of Edinburgh, 58, along with their husbands, to host the Buckingham Palace garden party yesterday
It’s far from the first time that the two groups of royals have teamed up. In 2020, Sophie celebrated her 55th birthday with Kate as she and Prince William hosted the UK-Africa investment summit at Buckingham Palace.
It also emerged the duo, along with Camilla, had been making phone calls to people who were elderly, self-isolating or vulnerable to check in on them during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to People, the trio took part in the NHS Volunteer Responders programme, which was coordinated by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), and saw participants ‘check-in and chat’ with people.
It’s far from the first time the duo have paired up – supporting one another publicly following the death of the Queen last September
Sophie and Kate have long appeared together at royal functions (pictured, at Eugenie’s wedding in n2018)
In recent months, the pair have been at the forefront of the slimmed down monarchy, with Sophie standing next to Kate at her second annual carol service last December (left) and the families arriving together for the Easter service (right)
The duo also made a joint public appearance last year when they attended the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham
In a poignant move, Charles positioned Sophie and Kate side-by-side in his Coronation portrait, which was shared earlier this week
Monday saw the sovereign unveil his new ‘slimmed down’ monarchy, with his ‘hard-working and respected’ sister, Princess Anne and loving wife Queen Camilla firmly by his side.
Meanwhile royal expert Richard Fitzwilliam told MailOnline that King Charles had likely chosen very carefully how his coronation portraits were staged.
Mr Fitzwilliams said: ‘This one is a strong forceful portrait of a monarch who knows his own mind and is very experienced.’
Noting the family shot included only four people under the age of 70, Mr Fitzwilliams said this will be a ‘challenge’ for the King in the future, who will need to decide ‘how slimmed down he wants the monarchy to be’.
- Did you witness the crash? Email [email protected]
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