Home
Rider was a member of the Herbalife Leisure Lakes Team - Police issue witness appeal and want to speak to anyone who filmed the race

Tributes have been paid to Herbalife Leisure Lakes rider Junior Heffernan, 23 from Yelverton in Devon, killed following a collision with a car during today's 41st edition of the annual Severn Bridge Road Race, which was abandoned at the request of riders shortly after the incident. 

Avon and Somerset police have since issued a witness appeal and are particularly keen to speak to anyone that was filming the race. The Collision Investigation Unit can be contacted by phone b calling 101 or online at this address http://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/contact/crime_reporting/

According to riders we have spoken to the incident took place in the middle of the bunch which was fairly strung out on a fast descent of Vattingstone Lane near Olverston on the third lap of the 10 lap race not long after a break had been brought back and the car involved may have been either stationary or parked - the Severn Bridge Road Race is not a closed road event. However according to a later statement issued by Avon and Somerset Police the car was moving when the collision occurred.  

Heffernan had been widely identified on social media as the rider involved, and confirmation came this evening from the race organisers, the Bristol Road Club. Today's race was his first as part of the Herbalife Leisure Lakes Team which he joined at the start of this season. Writing in his blog, Ride with the Heff on Friday, he talked about the race and finished by giving a sneak preview of his new kit and said he would "follow up with some (hopefully) good news after the weekend!"

Brian Cookson, president of British Cycling, was among those who paid tribute to the young rider from Devon.

"This is a tragedy which will profoundly sadden everyone associated with cycling in this country," said Cookson. "My thoughts are with Junior's family and with his friends."

The Severn Bridge Road Race has its HQ, start and finish in the village of Old Down and is over 10 laps of a 6.6 mile road circuit which proceeeds anti-clockwise from the start at Old Down, taking in Alveston, Elberton, Olveston, and Tockington before finishing again at Old Down.

 

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.

18 comments

Avatar
Jimmy Ray Will [439 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Gutted... RIP Junior, I can't believe it.

Avatar
downfader [203 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

RIP.  2

Avatar
notfastenough [3661 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

RIP

Avatar
mrmo [2013 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

RIP,

can i ask, does anyone know the circumstances?

Avatar
6654henry [56 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Christ that's awful.

RIP

Avatar
Jon Burrage [998 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

shocking. I dont think a name has been confirmed but if the rumoured name is true then it is all too close to home. Competed in Tri's with this person around the south west - shell shocked to be honest.

Avatar
Exustrek [21 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Cyclingnews reports that officials have named Junior Heffernan as the rider. Tragic, R.I.P.

Avatar
jasecd [328 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

RIP

Very sad news - I didn't know of him or even the race to be honest but it's all too common a report.

Avatar
Northbristolcyc... [1 post] 2 years ago
0 likes

From all the members of North Bristol Cycling Club our thoughts are with the family and friends of Junior.

Avatar
Bicycle Acciden... [3 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Very sad news,our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.

Avatar
AnalogueAndy [30 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Terrible, terrible news. I did not know Junior but he was clearly a gifted, gutsy rider. Condolences to his family, his friends, team mates and everyone who knew him or was there. So many people will be touched by this tragic news. The Severn Bridge RR is a really well supported and well organised event. Juniors death will leave a black cloud hanging over everyone involved with road racing in the UK.

Avatar
Sam1 [220 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

According to one of the Rapha guys riding yday, seems that the bunch were strung out full on, and Junior went on the wrong side of the road on a blind bend, straight into car head on  2

Avatar
fatbeggaronabike [753 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

How sad, my thoughts go out to all his friends and family.

Avatar
doc [167 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Sam1 wrote:

According to one of the Rapha guys riding yday, seems that the bunch were strung out full on, and Junior went on the wrong side of the road on a blind bend, straight into car head on  2

Best not to comment or pass on hearsay about the circumstances of this horrible incident, there will be an investigation and facts will be checked. This does not alter the immediate fact of a young rider's death, and at the moment condolences just feel so inadequate.

Avatar
Sam1 [220 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
doc wrote:
Sam1 wrote:

According to one of the Rapha guys riding yday, seems that the bunch were strung out full on, and Junior went on the wrong side of the road on a blind bend, straight into car head on  2

Best not to comment or pass on hearsay about the circumstances of this horrible incident, there will be an investigation and facts will be checked. This does not alter the immediate fact of a young rider's death, and at the moment condolences just feel so inadequate.

Doc, this is not hearsay. This was from riders alongside him when it happened. Otherwise I wouldnt have posted it.

Avatar
sean1 [175 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Latest police statement and request for witnesses

http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/Fatal-Severn-Bridge-Road-Race-crash-Witne...

Avatar
Dr_Lex [238 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Tragic; R.I.P.

Sam1 wrote:

Doc, this is not hearsay. This was from riders alongside him when it happened. Otherwise I wouldnt have posted it.

Unless you witnessed it, your comment is indeed hearsay, as doc points out.

Avatar
mingmong [253 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

RIP  2