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Cyclist paralysed after driver drove into the back of group during Flatlands 600k overnight event

Judge says incident should serve as a warning to anyone who considers driving when tired

A man has been jailed after a hit and run left one cyclist paralysed and two others seriously injured. Michael Bradbury drove off after hitting the three cyclists from behind on the A15 south of Lincoln at around 2am on September 10 2017 despite knowing that he had hit “something”.

Peterborough Today reports that William Tweddell, Adrian Boswood and Christopher Pratt were taking part in the 600km overnight cycling event, the Flatlands 600k, which involved around 70 cyclists riding from Essex to Goole and back in 40 hours.

Midway through their ride, the three men were diverted by police onto the main trunk road between Lincoln and Sleaford following a fatal collision on their chosen B road at Branston.

Riding in single file with powerful lights and reflective clothing, they were hit from behind by Bradbury, who was driving south to Sleaford after attending a work party.

The motorist had already stopped at a fast food outlet because he felt tired and admitted in interview he was aware of his eyes becoming heavy but chose to continue because he was not far from home.

Police arrested him at his home three hours after the collision having examined ANPR camera footage and found mesh from his VW Scirocco at the scene.

He asked officers, "What did I hit?" and later claimed he had told his girlfriend he would go to police after he had slept.

He admitted having "one or two drinks" at the party but a breath test showed only a small level of alcohol in his system and he was not over the drink-drive limit.

His car insurance had been cancelled after he failed to provide details of his no claims bonus, but the judge accepted he might not have known this.

Bradbury admitted three charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was jailed for three years and nine months, banned from driving for three years and must take an extended driving test.

Tweddell and Boswood were both riding recumbent bikes, while Pratt was riding a road bike.

Bradbury hit Tweddell, then Boswood and finally Pratt, who was also hit by Boswood.

Katherine Goddard, prosecuting, said that the three men were left lying in the road or on the verge. “Mr Pratt got up, Mr Boswood tried to stand up but couldn't do so and Mr Tweddell was immediately knocked unconscious."

Tweddell was admitted to the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham where he did not wake for a month after suffering a traumatic injury to his spine, multiple fractures and a bleed near his brain.

He remains in hospital, having been moved to a specialist spinal unit in Sheffield. In April his heart stopped for an hour before he was resuscitated. He is paralysed from the chest down and has been forced to sell his Colchester dental practice.

Boswood also spent ten days in hospital after suffering multiple fractures and internal bleeding, while Pratt suffered several fractured ribs.

In a statement released through Leigh Day law firm Tweddell and his wife Sue said: "Bill is still in hospital, with no idea of when or how he might come home. Bill is now going to be leading his life from a wheelchair, he is paralysed from his chest down and needs intensive support for his personal care and breathing issues day and night.

"We would like to raise the need for car drivers to be fully aware of cyclists on the road; for them to take full responsibility, have insurance and have the decency to stop if they are involved in a collision.

"We have other road users to thank for calling emergency services, which undoubtedly saved Bill's life. The last year has been a rollercoaster of emotion, affecting all of our family, friends and work colleagues. We have been robbed of dreams for an active retirement."

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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