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Cyclist jailed after 72-year-old killed in Bow crash

Ermir Loka waited nearly a month to hand himself in (Credit: Metropolitan Police)

A cyclist has been jailed for skipping a red light and hitting a 72-year-old pedestrian in Bow, leaving him with fatal injuries. 

Ermir Loka, 23, of Waltham Forest, cycled through a red light and struck Peter McCombie at around 5.05pm on Friday, 3 July 2020. 

Peter had been walking home from his job as a human resources administrator at the time of the incident.

He stopped in a central island while crossing Bow Road, at the junction with Addington Road, and waited for a green pedestrian light.

As Peter crossed, a cyclist passed through stationary traffic, narrowly avoiding him.

Moments later, Loka came through the red traffic light and hit him. 

Footage of the incident (Credit: MPS)

Loka came off his bike during the collision but got back up and rode off. Police have never found the bicycle he was riding at the time. 

Members of the public tended to Peter while waiting for police and paramedics to arrive. 

He was taken to hospital but died just over a week later on Saturday, 11 July. 

A post-mortem examination gave his cause of death as traumatic head injuries.

Peter was a “complete gentleman” (Credit: MPS)

Loka handed himself in, following multiple police appeals, on Tuesday, 28 July 2020.  

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

The 23-year-old was found guilty of causing bodily harm by wanton/furious driving at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday, 15 July.

He has been sentenced to a maximum of two years’ imprisonment. 

Loka was found not guilty of manslaughter. 

Peter’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. Peter still had so much left to do and enjoy with us and we have been robbed of that by the actions of this selfish man, who cycled into him and then immediately got up and fled.

“He 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. We cannot even bear to say his name.

“He denied his actions and put us through the trauma of a trial, where we saw exactly what happened and lived our grief again and again. His actions are unforgiveable. We are glad that the jury saw through his lies and that he has been convicted.”

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