Dad-of-two killed as he crossed Soho street
6:20pm Monday 15th October 2012 in News
A father-of-two was killed after being hit by a taxi as he crossed a busy Soho street speaking on a mobile phone, an inquest heard.
Xi Di Chen, from Tooting, was spotted chatting on his phone as he crossed Shaftesbury Avenue, near the junction with Wardour Street, just after 6pm on December 15 last year.
Witness reports described the Chinese national being "thrown into the air" after he was hit, landing on his head.
Miraculously he was able to stand up and even managed to call his wife to let her know what had happened.
But his condition deteriorated, due to severe internal head injuries, and died in hospital a week later.
The 35-year-old had been visiting central London's Chinatown with his wife but they split up shortly before the accident to do individual shopping.
Mr Chen was heading back to Chinatown when he decided to cross Shaftesbury Avenue, one of the capital's busiest and most congested roads, despite the traffic lights clearly being green.
It was a decision which ultimately cost him his life.
Frederick Lizmore, the driver of the black cab, told the inquest: "As I approached the junction, he just ran out between the vehicles to my right, which were indicating right.
"He hit the offside front of the cab, he showed up so quick and I didn't expect it at all.
"I tried to help him up and he was conscious and talking when the ambulance arrived."
One witness Peter Maddox, who saw Mr Chen run in front of his van as he waited to turn right, said: "He was running very quickly and had a phone by his ear. He was talking into it."
Mr Chen was taken to the neurological unit at the National Hospital - part of the University College Hospital London.
The restaurant worker died a week later, on December 22, 2011, after suffering cardiac failure due to a large blood clot on his brain which led to multiple organ failure.
Coroner Dr Martin Fleming, sitting at Westminster Coroner's Court on Monday said: "It is more likely than not that Mr Chen died from an accidental death."
He recorded a verdict of accidental death.