Italian aristocrat, 21, dies in London bicycle accident

AP News
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Posted: Nov 02, 2016 9:16 AM
Italian aristocrat, 21, dies in London bicycle accident

LONDON (AP) — A 21-year-old Italian aristocrat has died after he collided with a truck while riding his bicycle in central London — the eighth cyclist to die this year on the city's streets.

Family, friends and fellow students mourned Wednesday for Filippo Corsini, who was studying international business at Regent's University. He was killed near a London department store Monday afternoon. London police say they have arrested a 42-year-old man on suspicion of causing death by careless driving.

Corsini was the scion of a family of Italian princes that traces its roots back hundreds of years. His Facebook page offers testament to his interest in winemaking, a family business.

"Filippo was a connection between his heritage and his future," said his aunt, Sabina. "His motto was 'together we are stronger together.'"

The Corsinis have long wielded economic, political and religious power in Italy. Family members include Saint Andrew Corsini, who died in 1373, and Pope Clement XII, who led the Catholic church from 1730 to 1740.

Wealth accumulated through trade, banking and real estate allowed the Corsinis to build two Florentine palaces and two country estates where the family still produces wine and olive oil. The Villa le Corti estate in the Chianti region near Florence also hosts public events and cooking classes.

Duccio Corsini, Filippo's father, discussed the family's history with the New York Times earlier this year, saying he hoped his son would return to Italy and enter the family business.

"He was the most smiling and enthusiastic person that was in our family," Sabina Corsini said.

Large trucks were responsible for 58 percent of cyclist fatalities in London in 2014 and 2015, even though they accounted for just 4 percent of the miles traveled on the city's streets, according to city figures.

The danger has gained the attention of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has proposed removing the most dangerous HGVs from London's streets by 2020. Khan's plan would require the trucks to eliminate lethal blind spots or be barred from traveling in the British capital.

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This version corrects the spelling of the victim's last name to Corsini.