Retired academic hit by van on street where she campaigned for better road safety

·2 min read
Dr Shirley Pike was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries when she was knocked down in Oxford
Dr Shirley Pike was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries when she was knocked down in Oxford

A retired academic was left in a critical condition after she was struck by a van on a street where she campaigned for improved road safety.

Dr Shirley Pike was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries when she was knocked down in Oxford on Thursday. Relatives have told how doctors issued them a grave warning after she suffered a broken pelvis and cracked ribs.

Her son Justin told the Oxford Mail: "I don’t know what’s happened fully yet, but we’ve been told to expect the worst. A nurse was luckily at the scene so she was able to quickly do instant CPR.”

Police said a 45-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drink or drugs and causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He has since been released under investigation.

Dr Pike was reportedly attempting to cross a street near Charles Ponsonby House – which consists of 34 one-bedroom retirement apartments - when she was hit by a grey Ford Transit van.

'We're all upset, things look very bleak'

Alongside other elderly residents, the 89-year-old has written to Oxfordshire County Council in recent years, appealing for a safe crossing.

Her friend Keith Sunderland told the local newspaper: "She campaigned for a crossing. It’s exactly the same area where it happened, she was very cautious of the road and was always very careful when crossing that part of the road.

“She was a great campaigner for the residents. We’re all very upset by it, things look very bleak.”

In 1986 Dr Pike authored Marxism and Phenomenology, which is described as an exploration of the "difficulties of synthesising two apparently disparate philosophical frameworks".

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police appealed for any witnesses to the collision to contact them.

"At around 7.45pm on Thursday, a grey Ford Transit van and a pedestrian were involved in a collision in Woodstock Road near the junction with Osberton Road. The pedestrian, a woman in her 80s, was taken to hospital with serious injuries, where she remains in a life-threatening condition."

Police constable Julia Stroud said: "We would ask anyone with dash-cams and who was in the area around the time of this incident to please check any footage in case it may have captured something that could assist with our investigation."