Updated: Bradley Wiggins in hospital after collision, injuries "not thought to be serious" says Sky

Olympic champion hit by white van pulling off filling station forecourt

by Dave Atkinson   November 8, 2012  

04 Bradley Wiggins at the TDF 2013 launch © Simon MacMichael

Bradley Wiggins was taken to hospital after being involved in a collision with a van in Wrightington in Lancashire. Lancashire Police later confirmed that the Olympic time trial champion and yellow jersey holder suffered a number of broken ribs and further injuries to his hands and wrist.

The Lancashire Evening Post reports that The incident occurred at 6pm when a white Astra van pulled off a filling station forecourt and collided with the cyclist, although the Sun have the vehicle as a car and say that the woman driver was being questioned by police.

The incident took place about five kilometres south of the village of Eccleston, where the 32-year-old lives with wife Cath and their two children.

In a brief statement issued shortly before 1130pm this evening, Team Sky said: "We can confirm that Bradley Wiggins was involved in a road traffic accident whilst riding his bike near his home in Lancashire on Wednesday evening.

"He is being kept in hospital overnight for observation but the injuries he has sustained are not thought to be serious and he is expected to make a full and speedy recovery.

"We will announce more details in due course."

Earlier, a spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "A cyclist has been involved in a collision with a white Vauxhall Astra car.

"The rider of the bike, a 32-year-old local man, was taken to hospital by ambulance with injuries not thought to be life-threatening. His family have been told."

The attendant at the garage, Yasmin Smith, reportedly said of Wiggins, "He said he thought he had broken his ribs and while a lot of police cars arrived it was about 15 minutes before the ambulance got there by which time he was blue."

Crow Orchard Road filling station is the reported scene of the incident (Google Maps)

The Sun, which notes that Wiggins had recently shaved off the 'lucky' sideburns he sported on his way to Tour and Olympic glory, aid that he was being followed by a support vehicle when the incident happened, and quoted a source as saying: Wiggo was on a ride followed by his support team.

He was sent flying by the impact and his pals raced to his aid. A source said: “They were following him in a van and they helped him out after the crash. We think he’s going to be fine, but I don’t know how quickly he’ll be back on his bike. His family have been told.”

A lorry driver, Barry Blacklidge, aged 46, who arrived at the scene immediately after the incident, told the Sun: “There were about four police cars there. All the roads were coned off.

“I could see a pushbike, like a mountain bike, and the front wheel was all buckled. I went into the garage and asked what was going on.

"She said ‘Bradley Wiggins has just been knocked off his bike’. The ambulance turned up and they treated him for a while.

“He was up and walking around, but apparently he wasn’t too good. Drivers were stuck in the service station as the emergency vehicles blocked the exits.”

He continued: “I couldn’t get out of the service station in my truck because there were that many police vehicles there. I had to wait until they had moved. The police were examining his bike.”

Wiggins found himelf at the centre of a controversy over road safety during the Olympic Games when he suggested at a press conference that cyclists had a responsibility to wear a helmet.

He made his comments after being put on the spot with a question related to the death of 28-year-old Dan Harris from Wanstead, who was struck by a bus ferrying media between London 2012 venues immediately outside the Olympic Park.

He later took to Twitter to clarify his comments, saying that he had not been calling for helmets to be made compulsory.

Three years ago, Wiggins' wife Cath, who is herself an age group national champion on the track, vowed to stay off the road bike after being hit by a car while out riding.

A separate incident today in Leyland, less than 10 kilometres from Wiggins' home and 15 kilometres from where he was hit, left an male cyclist aged in his 80s seriously injured whe he was hit by a Citroen car on a roundabout at around 2pm. Lancashire Police have issued an appeal for information, with further details on their website.

Responding to news of Olympic cyclist Bradley Wiggins’ road incident last night, Sustrans Policy Advisor Joe Williams said:

"This collision shines a light on the increasing number of cyclists being killed or serious injured on Britain’s roads.

“Making cycling safer for everyone would cut congestion and pollution and help us to lead healthy lives. The government must create more safe space for cycling on and off roads and look at changing the law to follow the lead of many European neighbours, where a driver is also presumed at fault in a collision with a cyclist.

“We wish Wiggo a speedy recovery and a quick return to cycling.”

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Hope that this doesn't harm is preparation for next year's Giro.

GWS sir!

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posted by mingmong [188 posts]
8th November 2012 - 13:26

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drheaton wrote:

The vast majority of drivers don't actively seek to cause cause these things, through errors of judgement or slips of concentration these things occur and there's not much we can do about these things happening (without massive overhaul of driver training) but what we can concentrate on is making sure the post-'accident' process is improved. Assuming fault is not good for anyone, assuming liability (which is different) is great for cyclists as the driver then has to actively prove they weren't responsible or be liable for costs etc.

Vilifying someone for a momentary lapse of judgement is just entrenching the cyclist v motorist view held by many people, accepting that this was not intentional and probably hugely regretable on the part of the driver helps us move past the fact that it happened and onto what can be done to help those involved and stop it happening again.

This is a good point, but I think at the moment these incidents are too easily waved away as just one of those things. I agree there will always be accidents when humans are behind the wheel, even with much higher driving standards than we seem to have now. But the fact is that people in control of a couple of tons of metal need to look what they're doing, and far too many drivers seem to be totally desensitized to that responsibility.

posted by Chuck [357 posts]
8th November 2012 - 13:28

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drheaton, very well put Big Grin

The slip in concentration though can be brought on by the simplest of things, "what shall i do for tea", "must remember to phone "whovever" when i get in" etc etc. The list is endless and all of these can cause the lapse and ultimately an accident.

Driver training will never remove these however you ARE right though in that driver training needs to be made better. The roads are getting busier all the time and this will only lead to more accidents occuring.

I like the Mr Sensible, thank you Big Grin

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2674 posts]
8th November 2012 - 13:30

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stumps wrote:
The slip in concentration though can be brought on by the simplest of things, "what shall i do for tea", "must remember to phone "whovever" when i get in" etc etc. The list is endless and all of these can cause the lapse and ultimately an accident.

I would argue this is the very core of the problem - drivers of motor vehicles do not always take the responsibility and risks involved seriously enough

The question becomes one of how can they be made to?

Social stigma is one method - as per the successful anti drink-driving campaigns both in the UK & Eire

However I would contend that in the short term only a more forceful application of the law can make a difference by providing a deterrent

posted by mad_scot_rider [537 posts]
8th November 2012 - 13:48

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Just to clarify - i quoted the Mcr Evening News not to highlight daft drivers but to highlight daft reporting.
I would be very interested to know how many vehicle drivers *have* been injured when they have run a cyclist off the road. That was *my* point.

In other news - i love the reports that Mrs Wiggins turned up and was rather keen to "discuss" the incident with the driver. Mrs Wiggins sounds like a wonderful woman.

posted by Some Fella [720 posts]
8th November 2012 - 14:00

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I would have thought a wide, straight road was an ideal training ground for one of the world's greatest time-triallists.

This section of road links Parbold (hill) with Standish yes it is mainly strait yes it is fast and in generally good condition but it is a busy section of road with a number of significant junctions including a Hospital and a motorway. In the past I cycled it a lot and early evening would not be a time to do time trial training here and I would think Wiggo was cycling it to get somewhere not per say to train. The potential for a SMIDSY at 6pm is too great as it is an area where a driver is very likely to both underestimate a cyclists speed and be distracted by other road users. I stress this does do exonerate the driver who should have been aware of the presence of another road user especially when they were rejoining the road from the garage.
This part of the UK has some really great cycling terrain mixing exposed flat roads with undulating areas and some short stiff climbs, unfortunately you sometimes have to do sections like this one to get to these areas.
I wish Wiggo a speedy recovery and hope the heavy reporting of this incident encourages drivers to pay greater attention to all road users and pedestrians

THE ONLY WAY IS BIKE

posted by lushmiester [156 posts]
8th November 2012 - 14:08

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Cycle Streets is reporting that they have an accident logged at the same location back in 2007:

http://www.cyclestreets.net/collisions/reports/2007/06l082760/

posted by zanf [425 posts]
8th November 2012 - 14:15

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mad_scot_rider wrote:
stumps wrote:
The slip in concentration though can be brought on by the simplest of things, "what shall i do for tea", "must remember to phone "whovever" when i get in" etc etc. The list is endless and all of these can cause the lapse and ultimately an accident.

I would argue this is the very core of the problem - drivers of motor vehicles do not always take the responsibility and risks involved seriously enough

The question becomes one of how can they be made to?

Social stigma is one method - as per the successful anti drink-driving campaigns both in the UK & Eire

However I would contend that in the short term only a more forceful application of the law can make a difference by providing a deterrent

I think you're wrong there. I don't drive along safely avoiding cyclists because I'm scared of going to prison, I drive safely because it's how you're supposed to drive.

Implementing harsher sentences as a deterent only works where there is a thought process involved such as with shop lifting, assault and other considered crimes. You think about stealing something and a prison sentence may persaude you against it. You don't think about hitting a cyclist so the punishment is really irrelevant when it comes to ways of preventing accidents like these.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
8th November 2012 - 14:23

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drheaton wrote:
I think you're wrong there. I don't drive along safely avoiding cyclists because I'm scared of going to prison, I drive safely because it's how you're supposed to drive.

I can certainly see your point on that - hence my argument about Social Attitudes being the *correct* way to fix this - but sadly those inevitably take a long time to change

What I struggle to see is any way other than fear of a deterrent making a quick impact

posted by mad_scot_rider [537 posts]
8th November 2012 - 14:26

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mad_scot_rider wrote:
drheaton wrote:
I think you're wrong there. I don't drive along safely avoiding cyclists because I'm scared of going to prison, I drive safely because it's how you're supposed to drive.

I can certainly see your point on that - hence my argument about Social Attitudes being the *correct* way to fix this - but sadly those inevitably take a long time to change

What I struggle to see is any way other than fear of a deterrent making a quick impact

Agreed, this isn't something that can be fixed quickly, driver attitudes and ability need to be improved over a couple of decades (yes, decades) before we'll see significant change. Implementing a tougher, or more comprehensive, driving test now would start the change but would only kick in once there were enough people on the roads who'd taken it.

I might also suggest (to the ire of many motorists) having to take refresher courses every 10-20 years after passing your test to re-learn all the things you forget. This would improve the standard of driving across the age range and allow instructors to teach older drivers as well as the young rather than relying on the slow trickle effect of 18yr olds improving the overall quality of drivers over time. I wouldn't go as far as forcing people to re-take their test every few years but having compulsory courses could help.

Likewise, starting to change opinions now and social attitudes would still take years to come into effect but in the long run it's the best option. Knee-jerk reactions might satisfy the public's desire to see something 'done' to fix the problem but short term measures won't solve the problems cyclists face.

My other bug bear is new drivers driving around in big engined cars. In your first year of driving you should be limited to a 1l car, 1.2l cars for years 2 and 3 then 1.4l for those up to 5 years experience. That would reduce a large number of accidents and reduce the severity of many more.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
8th November 2012 - 14:37

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Shane Sutton, head coach of Team GB cycling team is in hospital after an 'incident' on the A6:

http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/gbcyclingteam/article/gbr20121108-News-...

posted by zanf [425 posts]
8th November 2012 - 14:47

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drheaton wrote:
I might also suggest (to the ire of many motorists) having to take refresher courses every 10-20 years after passing your test to re-learn all the things you forget. This would improve the standard of driving across the age range and allow instructors to teach older drivers as well as the young rather than relying on the slow trickle effect of 18yr olds improving the overall quality of drivers over time. I wouldn't go as far as forcing people to re-take their test every few years but having compulsory courses could help.

Likewise, starting to change opinions now and social attitudes would still take years to come into effect but in the long run it's the best option. Knee-jerk reactions might satisfy the public's desire to see something 'done' to fix the problem but short term measures won't solve the problems cyclists face.

Personally, I think periodic retesting would be a great idea. One way to do it would be to make it voluntary, but then incentivise insurance companies to offer lower premiums to those who have taken it. It would quickly become popular. The after a few years of that, look at the data - if it works, make it compulsory.

posted by step-hent [651 posts]
8th November 2012 - 14:53

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drheaton wrote:
My other bug bear is new drivers driving around in big engined cars.

I don't hold this only as a complaint regarding new drivers - I seriously struggle to understand the need for a vehicle which can achieve 0-60 in less that 7 seconds and has a top speed of over 140 mph where both of those activities would almost always be illegal

I find little more pathetic than middle-aged men who define themselves by the powerful car they drive

posted by mad_scot_rider [537 posts]
8th November 2012 - 15:02

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step-hent wrote:
Personally, I think periodic retesting would be a great idea. One way to do it would be to make it voluntary, but then incentivise insurance companies to offer lower premiums to those who have taken it. It would quickly become popular. The after a few years of that, look at the data - if it works, make it compulsory.

Nice suggestion

posted by mad_scot_rider [537 posts]
8th November 2012 - 15:03

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step-hent wrote:
drheaton wrote:
I might also suggest (to the ire of many motorists) having to take refresher courses every 10-20 years after passing your test to re-learn all the things you forget. This would improve the standard of driving across the age range and allow instructors to teach older drivers as well as the young rather than relying on the slow trickle effect of 18yr olds improving the overall quality of drivers over time. I wouldn't go as far as forcing people to re-take their test every few years but having compulsory courses could help.

Likewise, starting to change opinions now and social attitudes would still take years to come into effect but in the long run it's the best option. Knee-jerk reactions might satisfy the public's desire to see something 'done' to fix the problem but short term measures won't solve the problems cyclists face.

Personally, I think periodic retesting would be a great idea. One way to do it would be to make it voluntary, but then incentivise insurance companies to offer lower premiums to those who have taken it. It would quickly become popular. The after a few years of that, look at the data - if it works, make it compulsory.

Excellent idea. When people feel that doing something will save them money they're more inclined to take to it than if they're being forced to.

This, in conjunction with a better driving test, would be a great start.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
8th November 2012 - 15:03

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See? We should be the ones setting policy - robust debate followed by workable suggestions

posted by mad_scot_rider [537 posts]
8th November 2012 - 15:12

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Richthornton wrote:
Wow, what a lot of driver-bashing going on. Nobody here knows a thing about this incident other than what each of the media sources have chosen to report to suit whatever their particular agenda is however this driver has already been found guilty with an unpleasant dose of glee by a lot of posters here.

Hear hear. Most of the comments on here show the cycling community as ignorant and judgemental, all too eager to blame and condemn the van driver despite the fact that no specifics of the accident have been published. I wasn't at the scene so I'm not going to make any assumptions about who was right or wrong, regardless of fame or mode of transport. Sounding off with such biased views is hardly the way we are going to raise the status of cycling.

posted by chokofingrz [256 posts]
8th November 2012 - 15:32

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Don't suppose Brad and family will be feeling like visiting Wrightington Hospital Open Day on Nov 22 but if they do there will be a warm welcome! Get well soon Brad and get back out on the bike!

posted by trisc [6 posts]
8th November 2012 - 15:33

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chokofingrz wrote:
I wasn't at the scene so I'm not going to make any assumptions about who was right or wrong, regardless of fame or mode of transport. Sounding off with such biased views is hardly the way we are going to raise the status of cycling.

I can see where you're coming from, but the reports indicate that the car/van was pulling out onto a main road from a garage forecourt, while Wiggins was riding along that main road. Therefore the onus was on the driver to give way, so I don't think it's in anyway unreasonable or biased to assume the driver was at fault.

If the incident had been the other way round, and Wiggins had pulled out into the path of the car, I'm sure the tone of the comments on here would be very different and much more along the lines of "he should have known better than to do that".

posted by graham_f [90 posts]
8th November 2012 - 15:45

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The Manchester Evening News article isn't well-written, but:

"A lady had been coming out of the forecourt and she’s hit him and he’s gone flying – knocking the wing mirror off her van.

"She stopped because she realised he was on the floor."

She added: "I think he was on the phone to his wife.

"A gentleman was shouting at the woman driver. The next thing, about eight police cars arrived.

Not sure if she's saying he was on the phone at the time, or called his wife afterwards.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2948 posts]
8th November 2012 - 17:20

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zanf wrote:
Shane Sutton, head coach of Team GB cycling team is in hospital after an 'incident' on the A6:

http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/gbcyclingteam/article/gbr20121108-News--Wiggins-Hurt-in-Accident-0

I blame the French. Who's going to be next - Jason Kenny?

posted by mbrads72 [115 posts]
8th November 2012 - 17:45

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Re - my previous post about bad/ biased reporting
The Shane Sutton story carried something similar

"A Greater Manchester Police spokesman added: 'The driver of the Peugeot was not injured.'

Thats a huge relief because the figures regarding cyclists injuring occupants of vehicles are truly shocking.

posted by Some Fella [720 posts]
8th November 2012 - 17:59

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Thinking Hang on. 6pm? No-one's mentioned lights yet. I'd like to think he had some uber-LEDs of some kind.

posted by TchmilFan [17 posts]
8th November 2012 - 19:55

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Why did they let him turn blue?

He's skinnier than me - and people just stand around pointing, "oo it's wiggo?". Put a coat or 3 on him while you wait for the ambulance, at least.

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posted by PJ McNally [580 posts]
8th November 2012 - 20:28

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PJ McNally wrote:
Why did they let him turn blue?

They "let him"? They may not have had much choice in the matter.

Shock can set it regardless of layers and any other precautionary measure you might deem appropriate. Perhaps now is a good time for everyone to read up on the subject:

http://www.redcross.org.uk/What-we-do/First-aid/First-aid-campaigns/Road...

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posted by Simon E [1909 posts]
8th November 2012 - 20:43

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And 15 minutes is not a long time to wait for an ambulance with a conscious patient. Not desirable, yes. But not that long.

It's likely that the Ambulance Service may have called back to ask what Brad's state was (apart from livid). Certainly at an accident I witnessed & called in, LAS dispatcher/triage phoned me back in order to prioritise the need for the ambulance. Victim was conscious but with likely broken wrist, no apparent head impact but was possibly woozy from, er, other substances... so after the blood wagon didn't turn up after 30 minutes stuck him in a taxi. Similar temperatures, we were turning blue!

posted by TchmilFan [17 posts]
8th November 2012 - 22:07

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TchmilFan wrote:
Thinking Hang on. 6pm? No-one's mentioned lights yet. I'd like to think he had some uber-LEDs of some kind.

There's also the question of kit, was he wearing hi-vis or Team Sky issue black kit?

I'm not saying that this in any way negates the severity of the drivers offence, but from purely a view of making the best argument possible for improved driver training there needs to be no 'out' for the driver to use as an excuse.

If Wiggo's in black kit and doesn't have amazing lights (even though the area is well lit) then the driver, and driving groups, will likely use these as excuses and brush the whole affair under the carpet.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
9th November 2012 - 9:03

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Also, I picked up the Sun this morning (purely because of the front page Wiggo story) while I was waiting for my bacon buttie and the driver is quoted as saying "I just didn't see him" so clearly another SMIDSY.

It bugs me that this is socially acceptable. That while driving something that can cause great harm you can hit someone, say "I just didn't see him" and that'll make it all ok. It's the usual, shoulder shrugging, indifference to the damage caused by these events that bothers me more than the events themselves. As has been previously mentioned we can't stop people lapsing in concentration and making these mistakes but the post-accident indifference really needs to change.

Also, Sun quotes a source as saying that she won't face charges as long as she takes an awareness course.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
9th November 2012 - 9:17

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JohnS wrote:
Nzlucas wrote:

Everyone out their ride safe, never assume what a car will do and take the higher ground and obey the road rules.

I'd add to that - assume that every driver is a homicidal tw@t who thinks bicycles are incapable of travelling faster than walking speed.


And get well soon & i hope the side burns come back again Brad Nerd

Alex7

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posted by Baldy1alex [42 posts]
9th November 2012 - 13:06

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It's also almost certain that she did the usual turning-right-from-side-road observations that I see most car drivers do (including my wife, unfortunately).

Stop car, usually with a good chunk of the bonnet poking into the road.
Long look left
Short look right to see if anything's coming
Another long look left while pulling out.

There is often no additional check to the right to re-evaluate the speed of whatever's coming before moving the car. I always find this surprising as traffic coming from the right is what's going to hit them first.

posted by TchmilFan [17 posts]
9th November 2012 - 14:24

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