Witnesses said he was talking on his mobile phone while crossing the road near Houndsditch.
The victim, in his early 20s, was trapped under the Travis Perkins lorry in Camomile Street and later pronounced dead at the scene.
The City fringe area is a construction hot spot with major sites dotted all around.
One eye witness told the Standard: “It was very nasty. He was crossing the road and suddenly he received a phone call on his mobile.
“He looked like he was in a hurry. The young man looked like he was a contractor, he was wearing a hard hat and builders’ clothes.
“By the time he realised a lorry was coming it was too late for him to stop or get out of the way.
“The lorry hit him and it ended up on his chest.
“The man was trapped there for between five and ten minutes, but he did not look like he was alive.”
Another added: “The man didn’t see it coming. He ended up under the wheels and had to be pulled out.
“It was shocking. I think he was a young guy, it was very sad. Police put a tent up around the lorry and closed off the street.”
City Police sealed off the area for several hours while the lorry driver was stopped at the scene and not arrested.
A spokesman for Travis Perkins told the Standard: “Travis Perkins is cooperating with the police following this tragic accident.
“Our thoughts and very sincere condolences are with the family of the deceased at this very difficult time.”