Cyclist single mum recalls terrifying moment she thought she was going to die during crash with Tesco lorry in Clapham

Katy Clifton
Magdalena Tym suffered horrific injuries in a crash in Clapham South: Magdalena Tym/GoFundMe

A 38-year-old single mum who was left with horrific injuries after being struck by a Tesco lorry in south-west London has spoken about the moment she thought she was going to die.

Magdalena Tym was cycling home from work to her 13-year-old son Syzmon in Colliers Wood when she was struck by a lorry during a horror collision in Clapham South earlier this month.

The 38-year-old designer and architect was left with horrific injuries to her arm and hand, which doctors said could be life-changing and left her needing three operations.

Her hand was crushed by the wheel of the Tesco truck, leaving her with multiple fractures and in need of a skin graft after she was pulled “quite a few meters” down the road.

Magdalena Tym after completing the Richmond Duathlon (Magdalena Tym)

Speaking to the Standard, Ms Tym recalled the terrifying moment she was dragged underneath the lorry and her thoughts about her son in what she believed might be her last moments.

She told of how she had approached the lorry from the left side because she didn’t see any indicators, although she said the driver may have indicated when she was beside it before turning.

Ms Tym said: “I was standing at the lights and we both moved, I assumed he was going straight but unfortunately he started turning and began getting closer to me.

“I started turning as well but my wheel got caught up and I got dragged underneath the lorry with my bike. I could see the underside of the lorry, I was conscious the entire time.

“I started wriggling, fighting to save myself. I could see the wheels crushing my bike and moments later one of the wheels on the other side was crushing my hand.

“It was nearly a life or death situation, the lorry was dragging me and I was holding on for my life because I didn’t want to be completely crushed underneath the wheels.

“I was in survival mode, I was yelling and could hear others screaming. Before the driver realised what had happened and stopped I was still fighting and thought to myself ‘I’m going to die’.

“In that moment I was thinking about my son.”

Magdalena Tym with her 13-year-old son Szymon (Magda Tym)

The Polish national said that she doesn’t think she would have been so lucky if it wasn’t for the people around her at the time of the rush-hour collision in Clapham Common South Side.

She said three or four people “dived underneath the lorry” to get her out safely “even though it was dangerous for them”, while doctors nearby helped before paramedics arrived.

Two weeks after the crash, Ms Tym said that she has slight feeling and movement in her fingers but is not sure if she will ever have proper movement in her wrist again.

She says she has had to pay back customers who she was unable to complete design work for because of her injuries, but said she “needs to support her son” and will “do whatever it takes”.

Ms Tym was involved in a collision with a Tesco lorry in Clapham South (Magdalena Tym)

Scores of well-wishers have now donated to a fundraising page set up in the aftermath of the collision, with nearly £2,000 raised to “help her and her son through this tough stage in her life”.

Ms Tym said she was “so grateful” for the donations, adding: “I didn’t expect it at all. It helped me feel a bit more positive about everything. I don’t feel alone with so much support.”

The 38-year-old is a member of dirty2ride, a cycling group founded by Grzegorz Zaleski, who set up the fundraising page.

Speaking to the Standard, a spokesman for Tesco said: "We were deeply saddened to hear of this incident and our thoughts are with Ms Tym as she continues her recovery.

"We take road safety very seriously and all our drivers receive thorough and regular training to maintain our high safety standards.”

A spokeswoman for Scotland Yard said they were called to reports of the crash in Clapham South at 6.06pm October 5. There were no arrests.

Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed this incident but has not yet spoken to them to call 101 quoting reference CAD6230/5OCT.