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Cyclist jailed over pedestrian’s crash death

·2-min read
Ermir Loka was found guilty of causing bodily harm by wanton/furious driving after a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court (John Stillwell/PA) (PA Archive)
Ermir Loka was found guilty of causing bodily harm by wanton/furious driving after a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court (John Stillwell/PA) (PA Archive)

A cyclist has been jailed after riding through a red light and hitting a pedestrian, leaving him with fatal injuries.

Ermir Loka, 23, was cycling in Bow east London, on July 3 last year when he struck Peter McCombie.

The 72-year-old was walking home from his job as a human resources administrator just after 5pm when the incident took place.

Ermir Loka was convicted of causing bodily harm by wanton/furious driving. (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Ermir Loka was convicted of causing bodily harm by wanton/furious driving. (Metropolitan Police/PA)

CCTV footage showed Mr McCombie crossing Bow Road near the junction with Addington Road, and then stopping on a central island as he waited for a green pedestrian light.

As he crossed, a cyclist passed stationary traffic, narrowly avoiding him, but, moments later, a second cyclist, Loka, went through a red light and crashed into him, the Metropolitan Police said.

Loka came off his bike in the collision, but got up, remounted and rode off.

Loka’s trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that he had been travelling at around 15mph when he struck the pensioner.

Mr McCombie suffered injuries including fractures and bruising to his left side, and damage to the right side of his skull after he fell to the ground. He died eight days later, on July 11.

Jurors were told the cyclist abandoned his bike and later admitted to police that he did not stop at the scene.

Prosecutors said Loka, an Albanian national, was “in a panic” over his immigration status, which was not regularised, and he knew police would soon be on the scene.

Peter McCombie died after being involved in a collision with Loka. (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Peter McCombie died after being involved in a collision with Loka. (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Loka was convicted of causing bodily harm by wanton/furious driving and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, which will take into account time served while on remand.

He was found not guilty of a second charge of manslaughter.

Mr McCombie’s family said in a statement: “Peter’s loss has been immeasurable and has left a gap in our lives that we will never be able to fill.

“He was a man who loved his family, who had time for his circle of valued friends, and worked hard for his colleagues. He was a complete gentleman and everyone that knew him has been united in grief at the manner in which he was taken from us.

“The shock of losing him so abruptly, so suddenly, so unnecessarily, is something that will haunt us for a very long time to come.”

Detective Sergeant Eddie Coleman said Loka’s actions were “reckless, dangerous and entirely avoidable”.

“If Loka had only just slowed and stopped at the red traffic light, we would not be here today,” he added.

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