Sophie ‘deeply saddened’ by death of woman hit by police escort motorcycle

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The Duchess of Edinburgh is “deeply saddened” by the death of a woman who was hit by a motorcycle that was part of her police escort.

Helen Holland, 81, was struck at the junction of West Cromwell Road and Warwick Road in Earl’s Court, west London, on the afternoon of May 10.

In comments carried by the BBC, Ms Holland’s son Martin said she died after sustaining “multiple broken bones and massive internal injuries”.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The Duchess of Edinburgh is deeply saddened to hear that Helen Holland has passed away.

It is understood Sophie will be in touch privately with Ms Holland’s family.

Ms Holland, from Essex, had reportedly been in London visiting her older sister.

Her son Martin said she fought “for her life for nearly two weeks… but irreversible damage to her brain finally ended the battle today”.

He said she was using the “safe route of [a] pedestrian crossing” when she was struck by the motorcycle.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has been investigating the incident and has taken CCTV from nearby properties for examination.

A spokesman for the watchdog said: “We can confirm a woman who was involved in a collision with a Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) motorcycle in Earl’s Court on May 10 sadly died in hospital yesterday.

“Helen Holland, 81, was taken to hospital following the collision with a police motorcycle that was on escort duties on West Cromwell Road around 3.21 pm that afternoon.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends following their loss.

“We began an independent investigation after we were informed by the force of the incident that night.

“Our investigation is at an early stage.

“We also issued a witness appeal last week and would still like to hear from anyone who saw or recorded any part of this incident who is yet to speak to us.”

Any witnesses or anyone with information can contact the IOPC on 0300 303 5621 or email

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