Injured cyclist urges police to prosecute bus lane crash driver

MANGLED: Kevin O'Brien with his badly damaged bike after he was hit by a car in a cycle lane

MANGLED: Kevin O'Brien with his damaged bike after he was hit by a car in a cycle lane

CRASH: The car's smashed windscreen shows the force of the collision

First published in News
Last updated

A CYCLIST, who was knocked off his bike by a car and carried on the bonnet before being thrown into the road, has called on police to prosecute the driver.

Kevin O'Brien, 49, is now so traumatised by the accident, which left him with severe abrasions to his arms and legs, he has vowed not to cycle on public roads again.

And he has criticised police after claiming that an officer asked him to decide what action should be taken against the driver - while he was in pain and shock in the back of the ambulance.

Mr O'Brien, a vehicle de-pollution manager, was cycling home from work, in the bus and cycle lane in Manchester Road, Bradford near to the slip road to the Odsal roundabout, at 5pm on Monday, when he was hit from behind by a Peugeot car.

Mr O'Brien, of Larch Hill Crescent, Odsal, Bradford, said: "I was cycling towards the underpass to Huddersfield Road. All of a sudden I just speeded up, and I knew straight away I had been hit. I was thrown up onto the windscreen and carried on the bonnet, up the slip road, for at least 20 yards and then thrown off.

"Fortunately I was thrown towards the kerb. If I had been thrown the other way it would have been into other traffic and I might have been dead."

He said his rucksack had taken the impact in the road and saved him from more serious injury.

Passers by went to his aid, and police and an ambulance attended. His £750 Ventura Vitesse road race bike, which was dragged along under the car, has been left a "mangled wreck" and a write off.

Mr O'Brien, a grandad-of-two, said: "When I tried to stand up I had shocking pain in my legs. The lady driver came running down, apologising and saying she had been reaching for her sunglasses from the glove compartment.

"I had a bad gash to my elbow and abrasions, cuts and bruises to my legs. I was in a terrible state of shock and confusion and in a lot of pain.

"While I was being treated by the paramedics in the ambulance, a police officer came in. He said he had spoken to the young lady and she had admitted looking for her sunglasses. The officer told me it could be dealt with one of two ways and it was down to me. She could be prosecuted for careless driving or she could go on a driver awareness course.

"I wasn't thinking straight and I said I didn't want her to lose her licence and she should go on the course.

"But now I think she should be prosecuted. I think the police have trivialised the accident. They shouldn't have been asking me to make their decision, especially when I was in shock and pain right after the accident.

"There was only one person to blame for the accident, and it wasn't me. I would like the police to prosecute."

Mr O'Brien urged car drivers to be more aware of cyclists and to concentrate on the road.

He added: "I have been a keen cyclist for ten years, but after this I will never, ever cycle on a road again."

No-one at West Yorkshire Police was available to comment last night.

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