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.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.