Bus driver 'couldn't see' cyclist before fatal crash

A bus driver involved in a fatal collision has told an inquest he would "do everything the same" again as he did not see a young cyclist before hitting him.

A forensic crash investigator also told the inquest he was "alarmed" by the configuration of traffic lights that appeared to tell both pedestrians and turning motor vehicles to proceed through an intersection at the same time.

Max McDowall, 20, was killed when he was riding on a shared bicycle and pedestrian path and was struck by a bus turning left at an intersection to a dedicated busway on May 27, 2021 in the inner-Brisbane suburb of Woolloongabba.

Brisbane City Council bus driver Andrew Rudnicki (second right)
Mr Rudnicki said he had not had an issue with the intersection prior to the collision. (Rex Martinich/AAP PHOTOS)

The Brisbane City Counci bus was driven by Andrew Rudnicki, who was initially charged with a minor traffic offence in relation to the collision that was later dropped.

The Queensland Coroners Court opened a three-day inquest in Brisbane on Monday following a campaign by Mr McDowall's family.

Sergeant Carl Cutler, lead investigator for the Queensland police forensic crash unit, agreed with counsel assisting Emily Cooper that he filed a report finding traffic lights at the intersection gave a green light to pedestrians and traffic turning left at the same time.

"It provides both pedestrians and motorists with the mindset that 'I have the right of way' to travel through the intersection. I expected to see a time difference to allow separation," Sgt Cutler said.

He said he filmed a video of the traffic light sequence as it was when the collision occurred.

"Watching this immediately for me raised an alarm bell," he said.

Under cross-examination from David Schneidewin, the McDowall family's solicitor, Sgt Cutler said he had told Brisbane City Council about the traffic lights and soon after the light pattern was changed.

Pedestrian traffic sign in Brisbane (file image)
Mr Rudnicki said adding a green arrow to make sure pedestrians were clear would be "excellent". (Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS)

Police found that Mr McDowall was a careful and experienced cyclist who rode past the intersection at O'Keefe and Gillingham Street a few times a week and Mr Rudnicki had previously driven the route about 400 times in that direction.

Mr Rudnicki told the inquest he had driven buses for 33 years and had not had an issue with the intersection prior to the collision but had heard from other drivers that they had "adventures" with cyclists at that location.

He said just before the collision he had turned on his indicators and been given a green light.

"I saw one pedestrian and one cyclist down the footpath (coming toward me). I looked at the mirror. All clear," he said.

"I started to turn left. I felt a bump and stopped the bus immediately, looked at the mirrors.

"I can't see anything ... I'd do exactly the same again, what I done. Nothing changed."

Mr Rudnicki said adding a green arrow to the traffic lights to make sure pedestrians were clear would be "excellent".

"I am sorry about what has happened," he said.