Sussex Police have launched an appeal to track down the driver of a 4x4 towing a horse box who knocked two cyclists off their bikes on Saturday, leaving one with a broken collarbone and another with concussion and what is described as a “minor brain injury.”
The incident happened on Station Road, Berwick, East Sussex on Sunday morning as the pair, Matt Scott and Marc Townsend, rode with their friend Mark Tearle, who has related the sequence of events on his Velomorpha blog, which began with the motorist attempting to overtake the cyclists on a road that was too narrow to do that safely.
“As we passed the entrance to the reservoir and continued up the hill a 4×4 motor vehicle towing a large horse box trailer suddenly appeared next to us, the vehicle was fag paper close and travelling at speed,” he wrote.
“The vehicle must have straddled across the center of the road as it suddenly made a sharp maneuver, to avoid an oncoming collision with another vehicle, steering into Matt who was struck about midway along the trailer sending him shuddering out of control into Marc…
“It’s such a blur, it was so quick. I had managed to maintain control but Matt had hit the tarmac hard on his right side, his head just inches away from the wheels of the trailer, with Marc tangled in Matt’s bike striking his head as they both finally came to a halt in a crumpled mess on the floor.
“The driver of the 4×4 with trailer did not stop and by the time we had realised it was too late to catch his vehicle registration or have the wherewithal to take a photograph.
“The driver of the oncoming vehicle had stopped, though he was edgy and unresponsive and soon left the scene mumbling about “not being able to do anything to help”, and it was left to a couple in a Silver BMW, who had witness the incident, to check that we were all OK and direct the traffic – thoughtful, responsible, caring citizens.”
Police and ambulance staff were called to the scene of the incident, which took place at around 10.15am, and anyone with information that can help identify the driver of the horse box is requested to contact Sussex Police on 101.
While Tearle came out of the incident physically unscathed – it was Scott who suffered the broken collarbone and Townsend the head injuries – it clearly left him in severely shaken, and as he wrote on his blog, “the thought that this could have been so much worse will not leave my thoughts.”
He went on: The inconsiderate, dangerous action and callous indifference for the lives, health and well being of others, exhibited by that driver is too much for me to even contemplate, I don’t have the words to describe the way I am feeling at this present time.
“Three lives and countless others attached to us; children, partners and friends, have been affected in a way that is indefinable. No one died, but physical pain and injury has been inflicted and confidence has, for now, been lost.
“Both Matt and Marc are now recovering at home,” he added. “We are human and we break so easily.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.