Cyclist 'jumped red light then knocked down and killed pensioner'

Cyclist 'jumped red light then knocked down and killed pensioner'

March 9, 2021

Cyclist, 23, ‘jumped red light then knocked down and killed pensioner, 73, before telling him ‘Look what you’ve done’ as he picked up his bike and rode away’

  • Ermir Loka, 23, is accused of the manslaughter of Peter McCombie on July 3   
  • Court heard he was travelling at 15mph when he ploughed into the pensioner 
  • Mr McCombie suffered serious brain injuries in crash and died eight days later 

A cyclist jumped a red light moments before knocking down and killing a pensioner at a pedestrian crossing, a court heard today.

Ermir Loka, 23, is accused of the manslaughter of 73-year-old Peter McCombie, who was struck in Bow. east London on July 3 last year. 

Mr McCombie was making his way home from work at the Royal London Hospital when he suffered a fractured skull and serious brain injuries in the collision.

He was taken for emergency treatment but died from his injuries eight days later.  

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard Loka was travelling at around 15mph when he ploughed into Mr McCombie, who was walking home from work as a hospital administrator. 

Loka allegedly told the pensioner ‘Look what you’ve done’ before picking up his bike and fleeing, leaving passersby to call an ambulance while Mr McCombie laid bleeding and unconscious on the road. 

Ermir Loka, 23, is accused of the manslaughter of 73-year-old Peter McCombie (pictured), who was struck in Bow. east London on July 3 last year

Deanna Heer, prosecuting, told the court: ‘As he lay on the road bleeding and unconscious, the defendant who had also fallen down picked up his bike and cycled away leaving others to call an ambulance and try to help Mr McCombie.’

She added the Crown do not say Loka intended to kill Mr McCombie or even to cause him serious injury.

Ms Heer said Loka, originally from Albania, jumped the red light while riding ‘furiously’ on a cycle super-highway near Bow Road Police Station.

Expert examinations from the scene show the cyclist’s traffic lights had turned from green to amber eight and a half seconds before he crossed the stop line.

Ms Heer said this would have given Loka ‘ample time … to have seen that the lights were against him.’

Police released CCTV images of the biker who they suspected had struck Mr McCombie

Referring to Mr McCombie, she said: ‘Having crossed the west bound carriageway, he pressed the button on the demand box on the central island and waited until the green man on the opposite side of the carriageway illuminated.

‘Mr McCombie had priority.’

After cycling away from the scene, CCTV evidence shows Loka abandoned his bicycle and ran away, the court heard. The bicycle has never been found.

Loka handed himself in at Leyton Police Station after an investigation was launched.

He told officers he was ‘in a panic’ and had thought it was ‘just an accident’, the prosecution said. 

Loka claimed he had been following another cyclist who was five to ten metres ahead of him, and who Mr McCombie had allowed to pass.

Ms Heer added: ‘He said he had seen the man, Mr McCombie, about five metres ahead of him and tried to stop but was not able to do so.

‘He said he was in a panic because of what he just happened but also because of his immigration status which was not regularised.

Mr McCombie was struck in Bow Road, close to Thames Magistrates’ Court, on July 3

‘He said he thought it was just an accident.’

Ms Heer told the jury: ‘On July 3 of last year post lockdown, Peter McCombie was killed as he crossed Bow Road in east London. He was 73 years of age at the time of his death.

‘He was crossing the road on foot, perfectly lawfully using a pedestrian crossing while the green man was illuminated. However, although he was observing the lights in the crossing, this defendant Mr Loka was not.

‘As he approached the pedestrian crossing, the traffic lights were on red and they had been on red for over five seconds.

‘However, he did not stop. Instead, he continued through the red lights and crashed into Mr McCombie causing Mr McCombie to fall to the ground and hit his head.

‘As a result, his skull was fractured and he suffered multiple severe brain injuries from which he died a few days later.’

Loka, of Leyton, east London, denies manslaughter and causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving.

The trial continues.

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