The great-grandmother who was hit by a police motorcycle escorting Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, has died two weeks after the horror accident on London’s A4.
The motorcycle collided with Helen Holland, 81, of Birchanger, Essex, at the junction of Cromwell Road and Warwick Road in Earl’s Court, west London, at around 3:21 pm on May 10.
Police watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) launched an independent investigation after investigators joined emergency services at the scene when the woman was taken to hospital, where she remained in critical condition for two weeks.
Her family told BBC: ‘She fought for her life for almost two weeks… but irreversible damage to her brain finally ended the battle today.’
Her son Martin Holland said his mother had died after suffering “several broken bones and massive internal injuries” while using the “safe route” by crossing the road at a pedestrian crossing next to traffic lights.
Helen Holland (pictured), 81, from Essex, who was hit by a police motorcycle escorting Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, has died after fighting for her life for two weeks
The accident occurred at a busy intersection of Cromwell Road and Nevern Road on the A4 in Earl’s Court, west London, just a few minutes’ drive from Kensington Palace.
Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, attends a garden party at London’s Buckingham Palace on May 9 as part of the coronation celebrations
Mrs. Holland’s grandson, Joe Strutter Holland, wrote on Facebook about his grandmother’s death: “Rest in peace Nanny (Helen) Holland. One of the kindest and happiest souls you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Taken before its time.’
He added that he was grateful that his son and Mrs. Holland were able to meet and continued, “I’ll make sure he knows who you are until we meet again.”
After the accident, her family previously said the great-grandmother was in a coma and police confirmed on May 19 that her condition remained in critical condition.
An eyewitness said Ms. Holland was ‘thrown 40 feet across the road’ after being hit by a motorcycle.
Relatives described Ms Holland, who was visiting her sister in London at the time of the crash, as a “beautiful, loving, kind and caring lady who would always put everyone before herself,” in a statement shared with sky news after the crash.
At the time, Mrs. Holland’s family was said to be “deeply saddened and shocked” by the news that she had been so seriously injured in the collision.
They stated at the time: ‘Helen may be 81 years old but she is in good spirits for her age and nothing stopped her from living life to the fullest, spending precious time with her family, muddy walks with the dogs and lunches with friends is what she enjoyed. most.’
Ms. Holland, a mother of four, grandmother of ten and great-grandmother of a while, was also described as a “respected and popular” member of the community.
Her family added: “The outpouring of love and support the family has received from those who know her is greatly appreciated.
“We are all praying for a miracle and ask that you keep her in your thoughts and prayers as well.”
Buckingham Palace released a statement on May 11 saying the Duchess of Edinburgh was “grateful for the prompt response from emergency services and will be kept abreast of developments.”
They added that the Duchess’s “heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the injured lady and her family” and said further comments would not be appropriate while the investigation is ongoing.
Local residents claimed black screens placed around a square brick power station (pictured) close to the intersection, as part of efforts to ‘decorate’ the area for the coronation, meant pedestrians could not see oncoming traffic
Mrs Holland was hurled ’40 feet high’ by the officer’s motorbike, escorting Sophie through West London on May 10
There were road closures in West Cromwell Road near Earl’s Court in West London. One of the screens used to ‘decorate’ the area can be seen on the road here, as well as a SEG (Special Escort Group) police bike
Eyewitness Martin Hennessy, 62, claimed that black screens placed around a square brick power station close to the intersection, as part of efforts to “decorate” the area in front of the coronation, prevented pedestrians from seeing oncoming traffic.
He told MailOnline after the accident: ‘This was an accident waiting to happen. The screens were up for the coronation, but that meant you had to go up the road a bit to see the traffic.
“I was there shortly after it happened and it was a bloodbath. The poor lady was thrown about 12 meters along the road and paramedics attended to her.
“She stepped out a bit to peer between the screens and was hit.”
He added: “There have been a lot of near misses there lately because of those screens, but crossing that road is dangerous at the best of times because it’s so busy.”
Police say the investigation into the accident is ongoing.