A much-loved restaurateur who died after being knocked over by a cyclist, died an accidental death, a coroner concluded on Tuesday.
Pensioner Fernando Izquierdo-Alvarez was crossing Petersham Road on April 21, when he was hit by cyclist Sarras Papasavva, who was overtaking a stationary bus.
The 81-year-old received fractures to the back and side of his skull and damage to his thoracic vertebrae after being knocked over on his way to the no 65 bus stop.
Two of Mr Izquierdo-Alvarez’s sons, Edwardo Izquierdo and Gianni Izquierdo attended West London Coroner’s Court on Tuesday, September 6.
Coroner Alison Thompson said: “I am satisfied all in all that this was genuinely an accident and it’s not often I can say that.”
Mr Izquierdo-Alvarez was in the UK for the funeral of his brother, Pepe Izquierdo-Alvarez’s, who had just lost his battle with cancer.
Forensic collision investigator Adrian Armstrong used Mr Papasavva’s GPS and CCTV footage from the stationary bus as evidence.
The 41-year-old doctor from Greece received a serious concussion from the crash and has not been on a bike since, the inquest heard.
In a statement, he said: “I remember I left the house at 11.30am. I remember being held up by traffic, but I physically cannot remember anything else of the journey until I woke up in hospital.”
The cyclist was taken to St George’s Hospital, Tooting, and the pedestrian was taken to the Royal London Hospital via air ambulance.
Bus driver Spencer Smith said: “There was no way the cyclist could’ve stopped in time. I thought there was going to be an argument and they would both jump back up, but they didn’t.”
Mr Izquierdo-Alvarez had four sons, nine grandchildren and one great grandchild that he never got the chance to meet.
The family man, who was born in Andalucía in Spain on January 26 1930 died in intensive care, shortly after 10am on Sunday, April 24, 2011.
After the inquest, Edwardo said: “I feel happier now than when I went in. Before I had a few questions, like was the cyclist going too fast, but he was clearly not to blame at all.
“We didn’t know before that he was so distraught about this and that he wasn’t riding anymore, so we want to write him a letter saying we do not blame him.”
Remembering his father fondly, Gianni said: “He was the life of the party. He really kept everybody together.
“He was 81, but he could’ve been 60. The day before, he had been chasing all the children around the garden with a hose.”