By Jared Savage
New Zealand Herald
March 18, 2011
A man who opened a car door and allegedly caused a cyclist to fatally swerve into the path of a truck will face a criminal charge over her death.
Jane Mary Bishop, 27, was killed while riding on Tamaki Drive in November. It was the fourth of five New Zealand cycling fatalities in one week.
The nurse was cycling home from downtown Auckland along the popular waterfront route when she dodged the door of a car parked on the corner near Kelly Tarlton’s about 6.30pm.
She missed the car, but was hit by a truck travelling in the same direction. Firefighters freed her from the back wheels and performed CPR but Ms Bishop died at the scene.
After a three-month investigation, police have charged the man who opened the car door with causing the fatal crash.
The 35-year-old is to appear in Auckland District Court on Friday charged with careless use of a motor vehicle causing death.
It is the same charge laid against the two drivers who killed the four other cyclists in that same week in November.
Cycle Action Auckland spokeswoman Barbara Cuthbert, a campaigner for safety improvements on Tamaki Drive, said the criminal charge sent a safety message to motorists.
“I know so many cyclists who have been ‘doored’. Often it ends in injury, this time it was a horrendous death.
“The police are sending a message to drivers to break a habit which is hazardous. The simple act of opening a door … just look first.”