Emma Way, the 21 year old accountancy trainee who achieved instant notoriety after tweeting on Sunday about her collision with #bloodycyclist Toby Hockley has broken her silence to say sorry - although without wishing to be churlish it isn't clear from the interview clip whether Ms Way is sorry for hitting Toby Hockley, the Tweet, or the situation she now finds herself in, or indeed all of the above.
In an exclusive interview with ITV Anglia News Ms Way said she had never realised her tweet would attract so much attention or cause such an enormous row. "It was a spur of the moment thing and I'm sorry. I didn't realise it would ever escalate to this."
She went on to explain she hadn't stopped because she didn't think had come off his bike or been hurt… which would seem to be somewhat at odds with what she said in her Tweet: "Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier - I have right of way he doesn't even pay road tax! #bloodycyclist"
Way was in collision with Toby Hockley on a quiet country road on Sunday afternoon, the cyclist who was taking part in the Boudicca Ride Sportive along with other members of his cycling club told us he was thrown up on to the bonnet of her car hitting the windscreen, when she came around a corner at speed, he then bounced off and in to a hedge before regaining control of his bike. Remarkably Toby only sustained cuts and bruises. Possibly even more remarkably the only thing he wanted from Ms Way was an apology. Which he now has - of sorts.
Although Ms Way has been interviewed by Norfolk Police about the incident there has been no indication as yet what, if any further action they will take. However, a good indicator of where things may go next is that it is the issue of her leaving the scene that is the one Ms Way addresses in her interview - while the exact details of the collision may well be quite hard to determine to a level necessary to press charges - that she left the scene is an unassailable fact and one that is likely to have legal consequences. Indeed it has been suggested that the reason Ms Way's "sorry" is so non-specific is that she has been advised not to admit any fault or liability prior to any decision to charge her with an offence.
The immediate consequence for Ms Way is that her employers, an accountancy firm, have suspended her and her job, and career, now hang in the balance. She meanwhile has had a crash course (sorry) in the power of social media - one the comments in her interview demonstrate may not have entirely sunk in, "it's gone national" she repeats bewilderedly as the interview draws to a close. No Emma, it's much bigger than that: the tweet and its aftermath have now featured in newspapers and websites on every continent.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.