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Cyclist injured in crash with dog chasing ball sues owner for £50,000

David Crane says head injuries in incident on Acton Green Common led to him suffering from memory and concentration loss, among other things

A man who came off his bike when a dog ran in front of him as it chased a ball is suing the animal’s owner for £50,000.

Metro reports that David Crane, who was on his way to work as a publishing executive, crashed on Acton Green Common in West London as he tried to avoid the cocker spaniel, named Felix.

Mr Crane, aged 70, went over his bike’s handlebars and hit his head, resulting in a seizure, concussion and a brain haemorrhage in the incident, which happened in March 2016.

Central London County Court heard that his injuries resulting in him suffering from loss of memory and concentration as well as headaches, and also affected his sense of taste and smell. His left ear was also damaged as a result of the crash.

The court was told that Mr Crane, who lives in Chiswick, said he was travelling at 5mph because “I was very overweight and cycling fast was not something I did. I was 18 stone at the time.”

He is suing the dog’s owner, 48-year-old investment banker Carina Read, claiming that she negligently failed to keep the dog under control and that she should have been aware that the dog chasing a ball “with no regard for his surroundings,” might cause a cyclist serious harm.

In her defence, Ms Read said the cyclist should not have been riding in the park due to local by-laws forbidding it and that his crash resulted from a “freak occurrence” and that she had her dog under control.

Her lawyer, Nigel Lewes, said that Ms Read had been using a “thrower” to throw balls for Felix to chase, and that she had been standing around 33 feet from the path Mr Crane was cycling on.

He said: “She threw the ball parallel to the path. Felix went after the ball and it bounced off his head, deflecting towards the path.

“At that point she became aware of Mr Crane cycling at speed with his head down. She tried to warn him but Felix chased the ball and was struck by the front wheel of his bicycle.”

Mr Crane is also suing the dog-owner under the Animals Act 1972 but Mr Lewers insists that legislation only relates to cases involving a dangerous animal, saying: “Felix was not dangerous. He was running to catch a ball.”

The case was has been adjourned.

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.

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