Bahrain-born lawyer killed cycling in rush-hour crash during London Tube strikes

The corporate lawyer died in 'horrific' circumstances at a notorious gyratory

Kingsway in Holborn, central London, where eight cyclists have been killed in collisions in recent years. Photo: Google

A cyclist killed in a collision with a lorry in North London has been named as Shatha Ali, a Bahrain-born lawyer.

The 39-year-old became the eighth cyclist to die at the same intersection since 2008 when her bike was struck by a heavy goods vehicle on Tuesday morning.

She had been making her way through gridlocked roads near the Holborn gyratory in central London when she was hit at around 10am. Traffic had been extra busy due to Tube strikes forcing millions of commuters to find alternative travel modes.

Relatives described her as a “truly kind soul” who went out of her way to help others.

Bahrain-born Ms Ali moved to Britain when she was a one-year-old and was raised in the UK capital.

Cyclists in London have urged the mayor to reduce the risk posed to cyclists at the notorious Holborn gyratory. Photo: Reuters

After graduating from King’s College London with a law degree in 2003 she forged a successful career as an Islamic finance expert for the leading international law firm Latham and Watkins.

But family members say her career did not define her and she enjoyed travelling and hiking in her spare time.

They told the Evening Standard she was “everybody’s ‘go to’ person”, adding: “We always depended on her.”

Her father Hasan Ali described his daughter as “extremely generous” and said she had “contributed to many, many charities.”

“She had very good, close friends,” he said.

In light of the latest tragedy, cyclists have urged London Mayor Sadiq Khan to reduce the risks to cyclists at the notorious spot outside Holborn station.

Her friend Ala’a Al-Shehabi, a lecturer at University College London, said Ms Ali was familiar with cycling on London roads and “should not have died in this horrific way”.

“Absolutely devastated to hear the tragic news that my childhood friend Shatha Ali was killed in a horrific accident by a lorry last night in the notorious Holborn junction. Sadiq Khan why haven’t you done anything to protect cyclists there?”

“Prayers and condolences to her family and to all of Bahrain,” she added. “The news reached me from Bahrain first and we grieve on both islands.”

The Metropolitan Police said they were called shortly after 10am on Tuesday and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Detective Sergeant Rebecca Collens, who is leading the investigation into the incident, appealed for people to come forward if they have dash cam footage.

“This is an incredibly tragic incident and we are working hard to establish exactly what happened,” she said.

“We are especially keen to speak to a woman who handed in the victim’s mobile phone after it fell to the floor during the collision. We also think she may have witnessed the collision itself. If this is you, please come forward and speak to us, you aren’t in any trouble but your information could be key to our investigation.

“Likewise, if you were driving in the area please check your dash cam for any recordings that may have captured this collision.”

Updated: March 04, 2022, 12:17 PM
EDITOR'S PICKS