A lorry driver has been found not guilty of killing a cyclist by careless driving during rush hour traffic near Oxford Parkway railway station.

Oxford University academic administrator El Len Tham, also known as Ellen Moilanen, was riding her pedal bike in the bus and cycle lane when she was fatally killed after a crash with the lorry.

James Lindsay drove into the 44-year-old Ms Moilanen, during the morning of February 8 last year as he entered a shared cycle, bus, and taxi lane outside the railway station.

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After the collision, Lindsay brought his lorry to a stop and got out of the vehicle to check what had happened, thinking that "something had fallen from the lorry" according to his later interview with police officers.

The 46-year-old trucker was accused of causing the death of Ms Tham by careless driving but has been found not guilty by the jury.


Lindsay, of Rackheath near Norwich in Norfolk, went on trial on Monday (November 13) with the jury returning the verdict of not guilty to Judge Nigel Daly yesterday (Friday, November 17).

During the trial at Oxford Crown Court, Lindsay admitted that there were always blind spots when driving a vehicle of that size, which was roughly 10m in length.

“It’s hard no matter where you are,” he said. “Whether it’s rural or a motorway or a city centre.”

“Does that vehicle create a risk when being driven?” asked defence barrister Ian Bridge.

“Yes, I suppose it does,” Lindsay replied. “Always. Whenever it moves. Just being a large vehicle on the road. Being with smaller road users.”

“Anyone could approach your blind spot, and if you don’t see it, you don’t see it.”

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Lindsay also maintained he had no choice but to enter the bus lane before its end in order to reach his destination at Kidlington Park and Ride.

thisisoxfordshire: Ellen Moilanen, known as El Len ThamEllen Moilanen, known as El Len Tham (Image: Reuben College)

The crash left Ms Tham with multiple injuries, particularly around the pelvis area which suggested that a wheel of the lorry had driven over her at that point.

At the time, Mrs Moilanen was one of three female cyclists killed in fatal crashes in Oxford within six months.

Dr Ling Felce, 35, was struck by a lorry on The Plain roundabout on March 1 last year, while Oxford Brookes employee Jennifer Wong, 32, died after being knocked from her bicycle by an HGV-mounted crane at the junction of London Road and Headley Way in Headington on September 26, 2021.

Last year, a vigil was held at the spot near the railway station where Mrs Moilanen was killed.

Reuben College, where she worked, said in a tribute: "Ellen will be fondly remembered as a friend to all, resourceful, funny, kind, to the point, and endlessly patient.

"Never could the college expect to have been blessed with such a wonderful colleague, and never could we have dreamt she be taken so suddenly.

"Our thoughts are with her husband Karo, family, friends and with all those for whom and with whom she worked so happily."