Updated: Rider killed in Severn Bridge Road Race named as Junior Heffernan

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

by Simon_MacMichael   March 3, 2013  

Broken bike (CC licensed image by garryknight, www.flickr.com)

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.

 

18 user comments

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

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [98 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 17:41

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RIP. Sad

downfader's picture

posted by downfader [184 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 18:15

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RIP

Dodging the saccadic masking

posted by notfastenough [2604 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 18:48

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RIP,

can i ask, does anyone know the circumstances?

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posted by mrmo [848 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 18:59

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Christ that's awful.

RIP

posted by 6654henry [55 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 19:34

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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.

not all carbon is the same.

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posted by Jon Burrage [1076 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 19:45

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

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posted by Exustrek [20 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 20:46

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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.

JaseCD

posted by jasecd [114 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 22:34

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

posted by Northbristolcyc... [1 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 22:49

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

posted by Bicycle Acciden... [4 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 22:59

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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.

posted by AnalogueAndy [21 posts]
4th March 2013 - 0:24

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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 Sad

posted by Sam1 [206 posts]
4th March 2013 - 10:23

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

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posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [479 posts]
4th March 2013 - 12:02

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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 Sad

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

posted by doc [167 posts]
4th March 2013 - 13:10

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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 Sad

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.

posted by Sam1 [206 posts]
4th March 2013 - 13:48

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Latest police statement and request for witnesses

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

posted by seanbolton [108 posts]
4th March 2013 - 14:05

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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.

posted by Dr_Lex [115 posts]
4th March 2013 - 14:14

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RIP Sad

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posted by mingmong [175 posts]
4th March 2013 - 14:21

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