Teenage girl out cycling forced in to barbed wire fence by speeding car

Passers-by fail to stop and help bloodied cyclist

by Simon_MacMichael   May 26, 2010  

road.cc news

A teenage girl from Plymouth has told of how she was forced off the road and into a barbed wire fence as a result of a car speeding behind her, leaving her with cuts to her face and chest. To make matters worse, not only did the car not stop, but neither did passing pedestrians, until an elderly couple helped get her to hospital for treatment.

Stacey Courage, aged 17, had been riding her bike at Burrator Reservoir, Dartmoor, on Monday when she realised a car was approaching rapidly from behind, reports the Daily Mail.

“'I looked behind me and the car was really close so I thought I'd move over,” Ms Courage said. “I didn't think I was that far over but my bike went head first into barbed wire and the car just drove off. They knew I was there but they just left me.”

After managing to free herself from the barbed wire, which had become embedded in her face as a result of the impact, the teenager sought help, but was ignored by passers-by.

“I was holding my neck because it was pouring with blood. I thought I was going to die but people just walked past looking at me. I felt so alone.”

The newspaper added that the teenager, who had been planning on entering a Face of Plymouth competition next year in the hope of pursuing a modelling career, may need plastic surgery should she remain scarred after her wounds heal.

Ms Courage said: “The driver has ruined my life, especially if it's going to scar really badly, because I wanted to take up modelling. They've ruined my face.” She added that she had also lost theconfidence to enrol on a photography course that she was planning to take.

This being the Daily Mail, of course, the article has attracted the usual plethora of anti-cyclist comments, some focusing on the usual misconception of “road tax,” others on the fact that cyclists are a menace to other road users and should be forced – literally or otherwise – off the road. And onto the pavement where they can menace pedestrians, presumably.

One, from “Kate, London,” says: “Note most cyclists treat all road users in a very dangerous manner because they are oblivious of the danger they are putting themselves and others in. Hence the reason most motorists and other road users are fed up with them.”

The comment continues: “It is a pity that more cyclists do not look behind them; left and right would be good too. Taking the head phones off and putting the mobile phone away might help. A bit of lane discipline would also go a long way.”

It’s difficult to know where to start dissecting that one, but perhaps next time “Kate” is stuck in traffic, perhaps she could count the number of drivers she sees using their mobile phones at the wheel, then the number of cyclists using their mobiles as they ride along. Then she might like to consider the relative consequences of her being struck by a car or bicycle whose driver or rider is distracted by their phone.


14 user comments

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Wow, there are a lot of nasty people commenting on that story. Do these people trawl the news feeds, looking for stories of innocent people who've had a misfortune, so they can kick them while they are down? Or are they exclusively Daily Mail readers...?

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

Must remember that when they launch their next campaign against the BBC.

posted by handlebarcam [545 posts]
27th May 2010 - 8:13


You have to realise that the average daily mail reader is a small minded, angry, bigotted fool. Those are not necessarily the views of road.cc but the views of myself and quite a few others.

This girl didnt do anything wrong apart from be intimidated. We are all guilty of that, I am a cycling instructor and I get intimidated by 2 tonnes of metal coming up behind me at 80mph. I dont ride with a mobile, I dont listen to music, I KNOW explicitly how to ride to the rules set out by the dft etc and yet I and my instructors still get abuse. Come on daily mail, ask me what I do wrong and tell me why we deserve it.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
27th May 2010 - 9:59


Some hugely ignorant car drivers there ranting about this or that and clearly unaware of what it says in the Highway Code.


posted by OldRidgeback [2428 posts]
27th May 2010 - 10:05

1 Like

The irrelevant moaning about RLJers and "road tax" are to be expected. But to call this girl too ugly to be a model, or accusing her of riding through life on her looks, after she has had to PULL BARBDED WIRE FROM HER FACE - that's surely a new low.

posted by handlebarcam [545 posts]
27th May 2010 - 10:22


I've added a comment to the article. The empathy gene seems to have been bred out of a lot of people.

And it isn't much better here - last night's local paper carried a story about 'zero tolerance' towards pavement cyclists in Shrewsbury.


Shrewsbury is not a town with a large cycling population - the volume of traffic on the town's arterial roads puts most people I know off cycling.

Shrewsbury is supposed to be a Cycling Town. However, some extra white paint and signs, red surfacing and the occasional pelican crossing do not make for a more cycling-friendly town Sad

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2189 posts]
27th May 2010 - 10:43

1 Like

I saw a car crash off motorway last week - at least 8 cars drove past before I stopped. Luckily no real damage. A couple of days later a 20 mile slow down to 5mph in left hand lanes because everyone was oogling an accident on the north-bound. Unbelievable.

It should be illegal to pass an accident without stopping, car, bike, walking, whatever your mode of transport. Not only for the rather obvious benefit of maybe stopping someone dying but also for the longer term psychological scars as she outlines above that come simply from being alone in a bad situation.

We should all operate a 'stop and ask' policy when out on our bikes for people who look like they are in trouble. Generosity is about time as much as money to charities generated from marathons etc Smile

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [337 posts]
27th May 2010 - 11:17

1 Like

Jon Burrage wrote:
You have to realise that the average daily mail reader is a small minded, angry, bigotted fool.

Don't hold back, tell us what you really think Big Grin

vorsprung's picture

posted by vorsprung [296 posts]
27th May 2010 - 11:20


There is in this country a profound hatred for cyclists, and for the young as well. All these old farts resenting what they don't have any more: YOUTH!

A while ago, there was an article in the Evening Standard about Boris Johnson proposing to allow cyclist to turn right at a red light. A freaky coincidence that the very same day the article was published, 2 cyclist died crushed by lorries (a male in London Bridge, a female in Hackeny). As the day progressed, the news started filtering about these two tragic deaths and cyclists posted comments about it. Then, as I was reading, I came across this one, posted by a Lorraine Weaver, from Bedford:

"I always have a quiet chuckle to myself when I hear another 2-wheeled menace has been squashed by a truck and if this loony law comes in I shall be giggling all the way to Bedfordshire!".

I was totally shocked when I read this. At that time, there was no link to report abuse in the ES' message board (there is now, and I believe I might have something to do with that!), but I did post a reply, damning the paper for allowing a commnet like that to get through, and called this woman "lower than scum". Though they never published my comment, they also removed Lorraine Beaver's.

I cycled home that day feeling really uneasy, not only because two young cyclists had died in 24 hours, but Ms Beaver's comment left me quite rattled. I'm not that thick skinned, and I find other people's hatred of me because I ride a bicycle quite upsetting.

I can't imagine how this young girl must be feeling if she reads the comments. I hope her family is preventing her from that.

"Just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners saints".

LondonCalling's picture

posted by LondonCalling [146 posts]
27th May 2010 - 11:54

1 Like

Maybe time to co ordinate a DailyMail comment flashmob from a whole bunch of polite, well mannered cyclists who express nothing but sympathy for the next victim. Without resorting to striking back against motorists because indeed most of us are motorists. That might shift opinions a little? I am naive I know...

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [337 posts]
27th May 2010 - 12:14


They seem to have stopped new comments. I wouldn't be surprise if they quietly deleted them sometime soon. I guess even the Daily Mail can recognise ignorant, lazy, vile hate speech. It usually takes religion to inspire such things. But then I guess, for some sad, empty individuals, driving is a religion.

posted by handlebarcam [545 posts]
27th May 2010 - 14:45

1 Like

just makes me think that it won't be long until "Teenager seen cycling" will be headline news due to its rarity.

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
27th May 2010 - 21:15


If the average Daily Mail reader isn't buying collector-edition porcelain plates with a picture of their dearly departed Queen Mum on it, they're usually slagging off cyclists. Nothing new in it and frankly not worth the bother.

I'm more bothered that people just walked past this poor kid.

posted by jarderich [91 posts]
28th May 2010 - 12:51

1 Like

I really am saddened by the attitude of people. I think it's just ignorance, as they've obviously never cycled and they haven't felt the unease (and sometimes terror) you feel when sharing the road with aggressive car/van/bus/lorry drivers.

I can't see any easy - or cheap - solutions. There may be a small light at the end of the tunnel - no, it isn't the doctor shining a torch in your eye to check for brain damage after being hit by a car. Boris the buffoon has actually backed-up his resolution to make London more cycle-friendly by investing in new cycle highways. These come complete with resurfaced roads (a la Tenerife/Majorca etc) and nice shiny blue paint. I only hope he's consulted cyclists so it's of the non-slip variety so we don't go sliding around when it's wet Smile

This is the start of top-down cycle-friendly policy. My dream would be to have a raised kerb, physically separating the cycle lane from other road users. They have this on Southwark bridge in London and it's a wonderful feeling of peace and security which lasts for all of 150m.

I know it's unrealistic and would cost a fortune (a lot less than recapitalising the banks' balance sheets which we're all paying for) but it would be a wonderful solution and encourage a huge increase in cycling up and down the country.

Maybe my grand kids will be lucky to see it ...

Safe miles,

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Mark Clarke's picture

posted by Mark Clarke [20 posts]
28th May 2010 - 15:59

1 Like

TheHatter - genius! Utter genius Smile

As for the last line about mobile phones...

I was coming back from Wales today in my car (christ - a driving cyclist - a rarity Surprise ) when a douchebag started driving up my arse in the outside lane.

I was already going at speed with the traffic in front of me, with a reasonable gap incase the person in front had to stop...

Turns out, after plenty of hand gestures and him realising he was in the wrong lane to get off the motorway, that he was on his mobile phone the whole time - with his kids in the car... Lovely.

Then, approaching a slip road we noticed this car going right to the end of the slip road... He wasn't indicating to pull out and just kept going and going, aiming for the car in the inside lane...

On his mobile phone...

Then, I saw a car (Mercedes) zooming past me with two business men in... Driver in his mobile phone quite blatantly...

Bloody cyclists.

jobysp's picture

posted by jobysp [145 posts]
31st May 2010 - 19:45

1 Like