AN eyewitness who saw a cyclist ‘hit’ a lady who later died from her injuries described the incident as ‘very unlucky’.

Cyclist Edward Bressan, 55, is on trial at Oxford Crown Court accused of causing injury to 81-year-old Polly Friedhoff on the River Thames towpath last November by cycling ‘wantonly or furiously’ on his B’Twin bicycle.

The Prosecution states that Ms Friedhoff was ‘struck’ by Bressan and knocked to the ground during the collision near Iffley Lock on November 20, 2022.

READ MORE: Pensioner who died after cyclist 'struck her' fell with 'incredible force'

She died in hospital 12 days later.

Bressan has denied the offence and told police he had rang his bell to alert Ms Friedhoff he was approaching but she had ‘stepped into his path’.

During the trial on Monday (July 8), prosecutor Andrew Jordan read out an eyewitness statement from a passing physician who was out for a walk at the time of the incident with his wife.

He wrote that the incident was ‘very unlucky’ and it assumed it ‘happened quite often’.

The physician wrote that he saw Mr Friedhoff and her friend, Eva Huggins, walking ‘closely together’ on the towpath.

READ MORE: Scales of Justice: The latest cases from Oxford Magistrates' Court

“I don’t believe I saw the bike when it was behind the ladies,” he wrote. “The first time I saw it was when it was overtaking the ladies.

“As the bike past the older lady, it was travelling ever so slightly faster than walking speed. As the cyclist moved past, there was contact with the older lady.

“It could have been the handlebars or left knee but I didn’t see. There was no postural reflex from her. She did not put her feet out to steady herself so she fell forward.”

The physician wrote that he believed Ms Friedhoff had an ‘impaired postural reflex’ which he had commonly seen in his geriatric patients.

“There was a very unpleasant sound which was probably her hitting the floor. The cyclist did not fall off but stopped and dismounted about a metre away.

“It struck me as very unlucky. I imagine this happens quite often but other people don’t fall.”

The physician added that he and his wife rushed to help Ms Friedhoff and assisted in calling the emergency services and expressing how dire he felt Ms Friedhoff’s condition was.

“She was breathing quite heavily and her breathing was becoming very irregular,” he said.

READ MORE: Jury shown image of 'murder' weapon as trial continues

Prior to his evidence, Ms Friedhoff’s friend, Ms Huggins, told the jury she had feared her friend was dead immediately following the incident due to her lack of responses.

“I was trying to get some sign of life from her,” she had said.

The trial continues.