Page last updated at 11:38 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 12:38 UK

Parents of crash cyclist to sue

Tsz Fok
Tsz Fok was described by friends as a talented student

The parents of an Oxford university student who was knocked off his bike and killed are suing the driver's insurance company.

Engineering undergraduate, Tsz Fok, 22, was killed in a collision with a bin lorry on Broad Street, Oxford in 2007.

Anna and King Fok, of Hong Kong, claim it is Chinese tradition for children to support their parents in old age.

If the claim is successful, it could be the first time the principle is applied in English law.

'Future security'

Solicitor Stephen Warren, who represents the Fok family, explained it was expected that Mr Fok would support his parents once he had started his career.

"This is a tradition that has been honoured for generations," he said.

"While the loss of a child is difficult for any family to bear, in Hong Kong culture it unfortunately also means the loss of your future security."

Fight for justice

Mr Fok had planned his retirement, as it was expected his son would complete his final year at university and soon be earning enough as an engineer to help support the couple.

But following his son's death in April 2007, he has been unable to afford to stop working at his job in Hong Kong.

It is our hope that this case will help establish recognition of this principle in English law
Solicitor Stephen Warren

Mr Warren said: "We have already received very helpful evidence from the extended family and friends of the Foks, but this tradition is not yet widely established in English case law.

"It is usually not possible for parents to receive such an award, as the situation is not typical in England.

"It is our hope that this case will help establish recognition of this principle in English law."

The scene of the crash
Tsz Fok was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash in April 2007

Mr Fok had secured his place at Oxford with 10 A-Levels, including eight 'A' grades.

He was studying engineering, economics and management at the prestigious Worcester College.

The driver, Trevor Ashworth, was banned from driving for eight months and ordered to pay £1,500 in fines and costs after being found guilty of driving without due care and attention at Wantage Magistrates' Court in February last year.

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