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Essex Police seek cyclist after pedestrian left paralysed following collision

Information sought in connection with incident in Braintree last month

Police in Essex have issued an appeal to find a cyclist who failed to stop after colliding with a pedestrian who suffered a broken neck in the incident. He has been left paralysed and will never walk again, reports the Braintree and Witham Times.

The incident took place at 9pm on September 23 as 63-year-old Terry Pace was walking on a footpath between St John’s Avenue and Rifle Hill, close to his home in Braintree. It was not reported whether or not the incident took place on a shared use path.

So far, police have been unable to trace the bike rider involved in the incident and anyone with information is urged to call the central road policing unit on 0300 333 4444 or 101.

While the issue of cyclists reportedly putting pedestrians at risk by riding on pavements and footpaths often features in the local and national press, recorded incidents resulting in death or serious injury to pedestrians are, thankfully, rare.

Earlier this year, Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom, highlighting the case of 17-year-old Rhiannon Bennett, who died after being struck by a bicycle in 2007, introduced a proposed Dangerous and Reckless Cycling Bill in the House of Commons under the 10-minute rule.

The cyclist in Rhiannon’s case, Jason Howard, was subsequently convicted of dangerous cycling and fined £2,200.

There has always been some doubt about the exact circumstances of the incident, with a policeman involved in the case telling the BBC that Rhiannon was on the road, not the pavement as has often been reported, at the time.

Road Safety Minister Mike Penning was reported at the time to have pledged his support to the bill, although the DfT said that no decision had been made regarding the issue.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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