A mother of two was killed when she was thrown from her bicycle just moments after she had taken a selfie, her grieving husband revealed today.
Carmen Greenway, 41, died in hospital after her bike hit a “rough” patch in the road as she rode home from a local pub after her mother’s birthday party.
The graphic designer fractured her skull after losing control less than 300 yards from her family home in St Margaret’s, near Richmond. She is believed to have only had one hand on the handlebars.
She was rushed to intensive care at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington where she died six days later after going into cardiac arrest.
Today her grieving husband called on the government to toughen up its approach to cycle safety as he paid tribute to his “wonderful” wife.
He was away working in Moscow when the accident happened and flew home to be at her hospital bedside.
He told the Standard: “She was just coming back from the pub with her mum. She’d been taking selfies and had one hand on the bars.
“It was bumpy and she just jack-knifed the bars, threw herself off the bike and fractured her skull.
“It wasn’t the cycling that killed her, it was a tragic mistake. She was close to home, relaxed and having a lovely time.”
New Zealand born Mrs Greenway grew up in Auckland and moved to London 15 years ago working as a partner in her husband Rufus Greenway’s audio-visual company Sound Environment, while studying psychology.
She was cycling home from The Crown in St Margaret’s with her mother Sherry Bennett, visiting the capital from New Zealand, and two friends after enjoying the birthday meal on August 19.
Mr Greenway today urged fellow cyclists to wear helmets as he paid tribute to the “light of his life.”
He said: “It was the best 15 years of my life, two beautiful kids, never a row and never a dull moment. We were always having fun.
“My wife was a very keen amateur cyclist with a lot of friends. She was like the sunshine, she made everyone’s life richer.
“She always had time for people. She was caring and was in the middle of doing a psychology course at London School of Psychology.
“We worked together, cycled together, lived together. We spent as much time as we could together.”
He added: “In New Zealand it’s law to wear a helmet when cycling. Just put a helmet on. It’s why they are for sale. They don’t cost much – but it is your life.
“With London becoming a cycling city there are only going to be more cyclists therefore perhaps the government should make a stronger case for saying if you want to get on a bike you need a proficiency test and you need to wear a helmet.”
Mrs Greenway took up cycling competitively 18 months ago. Her husband and eldest son Finlay, 13, are both members of the Twickenham Cycling Club. Their younger son Rafferty is four.
She is thought to be the sixth cyclist to die on London’s roads this year.
Mr Greenway was on a group ride with fellow members of the Twickenham Cycling Club when Ralph Brazier, 52, a tech entrepreneur, was thrown from his bike and killed after hitting a pothole in March.
He said: “My 13-year-old Finlay has been absolutely amazing he’s been a rock for me and his younger brother.
“Rafferty is the epitome of a small Carmen in terms of his sunny outlook and wonderfulness – he just lights up in the morning and smiles when he wakes up. They are really good kids.”
Mrs Greenway’s mother Mrs Bennett told the New Zealand Herald: “I was riding right behind her. It was just one of those unbelievable accidents.”
She added: “Carmen was a very devoted wife who adored her children and adored her husband. She’d just got this special quality about her, exudes love and happiness.
“She just had this huge personality that was so infectious. People just wanted to be with her, just gravitated to her. Everyone was her friend.”
Headway, the brain injury charity, has campaigned for a change in the law to make it compulsory for children to wear helmets while cycling.
Charity spokesman Luke Griggs said: “The evidence is clear that helmets protect the brain and save lives. We are calling for a change in the law for children to wear helmets and we would like to see more done to encourage everyone to wear helmets.
“The evidence from Australian and New Zealand is that the number of head and brain injuries from cycling has reduced while cycling has never been more popular.”
He added: “It is worrying to hear that she had been taking selfies.
“We all think ‘it will never happen to me’, but the reality is that an accident can happen to anyone at any time – regardless of how experienced a cyclist you may be.”
Mrs Greenway’s funeral was held last month.