Cyclist jailed after Tower Hamlets hit-and-run death

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
Peter McCombie died from injuries sustained when a cyclist ran a red light and hit him

A cyclist has been jailed for causing fatal injuries to a pedestrian in a hit-and-run crash.

Ermir Loka, 23, struck Peter McCombie on Bow Road, Tower Hamlets, as he was walking home from work on 3 July 2020.

Mr McCombie, 72, died eight days later on 11 July from injuries sustained in the crash.

Loka was jailed for two years after being convicted at Snaresbrook Crown Court of causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving.

He was found not guilty of manslaughter and his time on remand will be deducted from his sentence.

Media caption,
Peter McCombie: Cyclist jailed after Tower Hamlets hit-and-run death

CCTV footage showed Mr McCombie stopping on a central island waiting for a green pedestrian light, before crossing the road.

Another cyclist narrowly avoided hitting him before Loka ran a red light and collided with the 72-year-old.

After the crash he got back on his bike and rode off.

Police said Loka had "ample time", around eight seconds, to stop as he approached the traffic lights when they turned from green to red.

Mr McCombie later died from traumatic head injuries.

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
Ermir Loka fled from the scene following the crash

After multiple police appeals, Loka handed himself into police on 28 July 2020.

Loka, an Albanian national who had entered the country illegally, claimed he fled after the collision because he had panicked about the consequences for his immigration status.

Mr McCombie's family said in a statement: "The shock of losing him so abruptly, so suddenly, so unnecessarily, is something that will haunt us for a very long time to come.

"He [Loka] left Peter laying in a busy road, seriously injured, and thought only of himself at that time. That kind of cowardice is beyond contempt. The anger we feel towards him is beyond words."

Det Sgt Eddie Coleman said: "It can only be said that Loka's actions were reckless and dangerous and entirely avoidable.

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

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