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Christina Mackenzie says she has "no hope" that hit-and-run driver who left her motionless will ever be found

The time trial specialist said that while she has recovered physically, Police Scotland's failure to trace the SUV driver have compounded her insecurities...

Scottish endurance cyclist and women’s record holder for the Land’s End to John O’Groats, Christina Mackenzie has staged a phenomenal recovery and returned to racing, however she said the fact that the SUV driver, who left her severely injured after a hit-and-run is still on the roads is still taking a toll on her mentally, and that she has no hope that Police Scotland will ever manage to trace them.

“With the help of a physio, hard work and commitment, I have physically recovered – but not so much mentally,” she said. “I continue to struggle to deal with the events of September 27, 2022.”

> “Everyday tasks have become my new challenge”: Christina Mackenzie in “excruciating pain” after being struck by hit-and-run motorist

She said: “It’s been a year since my accident and I’m disappointed to say the driver of the vehicle has not been traced despite a clear image of the vehicle and a national public appeal.”

“To be hit and left motionless with no regard for life and now one year later in the knowledge that Police Scotland have failed to trace the driver adds to my insecurities and self-worth.

“I’m grateful for friends, the cycling community and press that have appealed for more action to be taken or information that could lead to the driver being traced.

“Unfortunately, at this stage now I have no hope left that the driver will be traced and give me the closure I require to try and forget about this incident.

“Instead I concentrate on the things I can control – my own wellbeing and fitness – and will continue to be grateful I’m still here and can ride my bike again,” she told the Observer.

> Christina Mackenzie "disgusted" by hit-and-run driver who "left her for dead"

The 46-year-old Mackenzie, who’s a specialist in tackling brutal long-distance rides, was on a purple patch since 2021. She had made headlines in July 2021 for breaking the almost two-decades old women’s cycling record for the punishing 839-mile long Land’s End to John O’Groats, finishing the ride in 51 hours, five minutes and 27 seconds and beating the previous time by an hour and 40 minutes.

The next year, she went on to set a new women's solo record for the famous North Coast 500, covering the 516-mile route in 36 hours, 39 minutes and seven seconds.

And in August, she became Scottish 100-mile time trial champion and at the start of September took her second British 12-hour championship, recording 263 miles on the Monmouthshire course.

However, her stellar year came to a horror end after being struck by a hit-and-run SUV driver who “left her for dead”, while she was training near Stirling. She suffered a broken pelvis and said that she felt “excruciating pain” and had “no mobility whatsoever” after the collision.

But nine months and some gruelling physiotherapy sessions later, she has not only found herself back in the saddle, but also qualified for the monumental 2023 UCI World Championships road race.

Christina Mackenzie (Roads Records Association)

In January this year, Mackenzie was able to go for a bike ride for the first time since the crash. Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland's Drivetime programme, she recalled her challenging rehabilitation, which involved even learning to walk again.

When she got on her bike, she admitted feeling “twitchy” during the 45-mile ride which passed the crash site near Kippen and told the BBC programme “it was really quite daunting” and the collision “knocked my confidence completely”.

“I just felt really twitchy, looking over my shoulders the whole time,” she said.

At the time of the crash, Mackenzie spoke of the difficulty to understand the driver not stopping to help, saying, “I'm disgusted by it. I'm not just a cyclist, I'm someone's sister, I'm someone's daughter.”

Her injuries left her housebound for the first month and even after that the first two months were “just horrific, the pain that I was in, no mobility whatsoever” and had a serious impact on her mental health.

Christina Mackenzie hit-and-run suspect

Christina Mackenzie hit-and-run suspect

The driver of the black SUV, believed to be a black Ford Ranger with tinted windows — towing a silver trailer, has still not been found despite a lengthy police investigation.

Mackenzie had earlier described the knowledge that the motorist responsible still has not been caught as “frustrating” and a “complete disgrace”.

> “Today feels like a big win”: Imogen Cotter makes racing comeback – seven months after being struck head-on by speeding motorist

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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17 comments

Avatar
bikes | 9 months ago
0 likes

How was the image of the driver captured? Is it a still from a video?

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yupiteru | 9 months ago
3 likes

In other words the driver is a member of the same golf club as the Chief Constable.

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yupiteru | 9 months ago
0 likes

.

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Cugel replied to yupiteru | 9 months ago
3 likes

yupiteru wrote:

In other words the driver is a member of the same golf club as the Chief Constable.

We're foolish to speculate on this really, not knowing anything other than mass media blather. However ..... 

I know from personal experience that local loyalties in small and tight-knit communities can undermine the general case for justice. Being loyal to your tribe is sometimes seen as more "just" than exposing a tribe member to the prosecutions of "outsiders".

Add to this the now well-recognised fact that police forces are both easiy corruptable and actually corrupted in many cases ....... .

 

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espressodan | 9 months ago
9 likes

I have a tendancy to agree with @dubwise, at least that serious independent review is warranted. At best this looks like abject incompetence.

I don't believe that the UK is a country where insufficient records exist to trace a vehicle when such a clear image associated with a date and time exists. It's incredible.

In the UK, ford has sold 16,827 Ford Rangers. I would image that Ford UK would be able to idenfy the exact model from the body shape and trim. The colour of the vehicle is recorded in registration records, the tray cover is not standard. Even if it has been removed evidence of it's fitment would remain.

In addition, the trailer is cleary an Ifor Williams Livestock Trailer. Again, I can imagine that Ifor Williams have sales records for that particular model and, even as they change hands privately, the venn diagram for that model of trailer and that model of car comes down to a handfull of people, if that.

It is even more probable that the driver is local given that one would assume that motorway cameras and the associated ANPR records would have been reviewed for the area. This vehicle would not be hard to spot. That there is no hit from such a camera would provide even more credibility to the assurtion that the driver is very local.

Tracing this driver is just plain and simple police work.

That the investigation is described as 'lengthy' says nothing for the resources applied. Activities that are under resourced and not priorotised tend to be lengthy, before they are abandoned.

To be frank, that they have not traced this driver simply highlights a low priority, nothing more. This driver would have been traced for any number of other offences.

It is not acceptable to have a driver who commits an offence of this magnitude not have significant policing resources dedicated to finding them.

Shameful.

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BalladOfStruth replied to espressodan | 9 months ago
4 likes

I said much the same thing when this story first came up. I pulled up the information to find out what model generation it was (2020-2022 facelift crew cab), and what trim line it was from the factory options fitted (can't remember now, but it's available in two-door and crew cab, with 3-4 different trim levels - so plenty of permutations to narrow things down, and there were a few identifiable factory options fitted to it as well). There will absolutely be records from which you could generate a shortlist of who purchased that model of that generation, in that trim with those specific options. There have not been that many of these things sold here since the late '90s. 
This shortlist can then be checked against the records that will absolutely exist if who has purchased that exact specification of Ifor Williams trailer. 
 

If I had access to those two datasets, I could write a script to give you the names of everyone in the UK who owns/has owned that specific pickup AND owns/has owned that specific trailer in about ten minutes. 
 

It's like they'd trying not to solve this one. 

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Rendel Harris replied to BalladOfStruth | 9 months ago
3 likes

By sheer coincidence I happened to see this accident writeoff Ranger that looks exactly the same spec for sale in Aberdeen. Probably nothing but have sent the information to Christina in case she wants to ask the police to chase up the owner at the time she was hit.

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adamrice replied to espressodan | 9 months ago
1 like

It might not be incompetence. It might just be apathy.

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Gasman Jim | 9 months ago
4 likes

I'm not surprised to see the alleged vehicle is a crew-cab pick-up towing a trailer. In my experience when cycling around North Wales, the drivers of these vehicles are the most likely to pass me in a reckless manner.

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neilmck | 9 months ago
3 likes

How many cars of the model and colour exist in Scotland, or even in the locatity of the accident? I have never seen that model of car before so there cannot be that many. Then only look at the ones that might be owned by people who would be moving animals and you have your fella. It looks like Mr Plod doesn't care.

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wycombewheeler replied to neilmck | 9 months ago
1 like

neilmck wrote:

How many cars of the model and colour exist in Scotland, or even in the locatity of the accident? I have never seen that model of car before so there cannot be that many. Then only look at the ones that might be owned by people who would be moving animals and you have your fella. It looks like Mr Plod doesn't care.

and of those how many are sheep/pig farmers. Sine that is clearly a small livestock trailer

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OldRidgeback replied to wycombewheeler | 9 months ago
4 likes

I think I remember a post saying there were just 25 of these Ford Ranger models in this colour registered in Scotland at the time of the incident. Coupled with the distinctive trailer, you'd have thought the police could've checked phone records and dound the driver fairly quickly.

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dubwise | 9 months ago
10 likes

I wish Christina all the best, she is a wonderful cyclist.

As for Police Scotland, sorry but I have nothing but contempt for them.  Personally I think the driver in question is well known to officers, in a friendly sense, hence the total lack of doing anything.

They are institutionally corrupt.

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Velo-drone | 9 months ago
14 likes

Guarantee if that driver had hit a police officer they'd have found the vehicle and driver in 2 days max.

All sorts of ways that it could have been tracked down with a modicum of effort at the time, but they clearly didn't think it merited the effort. By now, basically impossible.

That's Police Scotland for you.

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OldRidgeback | 9 months ago
12 likes

I hope she's able to be comfortable with riding again. She's been brilliant with regard to her recovery so let's hope it continues.

As to Police Scotland, I cannot understand how officers have not to been able to trace a comparatively unusual vehicle on Scottish roads that was towing a distinctive trailer. Police Scotland has shown a callous disregard for cyclist's safety in many instances but this case smacks of blundering incompetence.

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Bigfoz replied to OldRidgeback | 9 months ago
11 likes

She is definitely riding again. She rode in the Island games earlier this year, and is on the start sheet for Oct-1 Tour of the Trossachs TT. 

I still don;t understand how the driver can;t be traced. I know it;s not the busiest bit of road in the world, but someone knows that pickup / trailer combo was on the road that day...

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Bigfoz replied to Bigfoz | 9 months ago
0 likes

And won the female V40+ Road race champs yesterday...

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