Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

NHS worker who was left for dead watched motorist that hit him drive away

The 50-year-old was left with a fractured spine after the collision

A NHS worker who was left for dead with a fractured spine by a hit-and-run driver has described watching the motorist that hit him drive off into the distance.

Mark Richards was struck while riding in a cycle lane while he travelled home from a training run two weeks ago.

He now faces months of rehabilitation after fracturing his spine in three places.

Police Scotland are currently looking for the driver of a Vauxhall Insignia.

Mr Richards, 50, has now been released from hospital. His injuries mean he is only able to lie down or stand up and he has to wear a back brace for three months.

Speaking to the BBC he spoke about the horrific incident that occurred while he was out on a 45-mile training ride. 

The collision took place just four miles from his home on Spittal Terrace, near Hamilton Road in Blantyre.

He said: "The part of road I was on when I was struck by the vehicle had a cycle route at the side of it. I though that was a nice safe route home. I certainly didn't expect to be hit by a car when I was in the cycle lane. 

"I remember the car striking me hard on my body and thinking I had been hit by a vehicle hard, flying through the air, hitting the ground and then coming to a stop and I can vividly remember looking down the road except I was slightly disorientated at the time.

"I can remember seeing a vehicle driving away and me thinking to myself I think that's the car that just hit me and that driver's not stopped, just driven off."

An experienced cyclist, Mr Richards managed to pull himself to the side of the road and passers-by called emergency services.

Ambulance staff, worried about neck and spinal injuries, immobilised him and put him on a back board.

Mr Richards continued: "I knew I was badly hurt and I was worried about the extent of the injuries.

"I knew I had hurt my back and I was worried about whether there would be serious damage done to my spine that could have long-term consequences for me.

"Their initial assessment of the damage was two spinal fractures as well as extensive injuries as a consequence of hitting the ground at speed. On the Monday I had the MRI scan to assess for any other damage to the spinal cord or any additional soft tissue damage.

"The outcome of that scan was I actually had three spinal fractures rather than the two they initially thought. I was in a lot of pain from the damage done to particularly the right side of my body."

Mr Richards, who works as director of nursing at Carstairs Hospital, said the cuts and grazes were 'significant and painful'.

He said: "I was going at about 25mph on my bike downhill and the car could have been doing 40-60mph, so I would have flown a fair distance and skidded before I came to a halt. I had no idea the car was coming. It hit me from behind."

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "Our investigation into the hit and run between Blantyre and Cambuslang on Saturday, 24 April, 2021 around 11.25am is ongoing.

"Officers are currently following a positive line of inquiry. Anyone with information who has not yet spoken to police can get in touch."

Mr Richards said: "I have cycled for as long as I can remember.

"I have cycled competitively my whole adult life and I am very keen to get back on the bike, though how I feel about that when I get back on the road, remains to be seen.

"Cycling isn't risk-free. The accident I have had is exceptional but cycling is not risk-free."

Add new comment

45 comments

Avatar
Nikonitis | 2 years ago
2 likes

It is excellent work, however it was done by the Lanarkshire Police, that the driver has been caught and will receive what is coming to him. It is unimaginable in my mind how cheap life appears to be to some folk and how little responsibility some people take for their actions. 

Avatar
hennie | 2 years ago
9 likes

All the best with your recovery Mark,. I guess we all fear this happeneing every time we hear a vehicle approaching. Chapeau to you for your desire to get back on the bike again. 

Avatar
OldRidgeback | 2 years ago
4 likes

That's a horrible incident and I hope the cyclist is able to heal up properly. I also hope that the driver receives a suitable sentence, though I'm rather cynical as to whether this will happen.

Avatar
Riggs | 2 years ago
9 likes
Avatar
brooksby replied to Riggs | 2 years ago
0 likes
Riggs wrote:

Looks like the police have caught the driver. https://www.facebook.com/221913208013688/posts/1876486052556387/?substor...

Not on FB - can you copy-and-paste a bit of that?

Avatar
Sriracha replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
3 likes

You don't need to be on FB to see it.

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago
2 likes

Asking me to logon, not public forum.

edit: mobile app allows it but desktop forced the logon. 

Avatar
brooksby replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
0 likes

Yes; that was what I got too.

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
2 likes
brooksby wrote:
Riggs wrote:

Looks like the police have caught the driver. https://www.facebook.com/221913208013688/posts/1876486052556387/?substor...

Not on FB - can you copy-and-paste a bit of that?

Update - Man arrested after cyclist seriously injured - A724, Blantyre/Cambuslang
A 34-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with a road crash on Spittal Terrace, near to Hamilton Road, Blantyre, in which a 50-year-old male cyclist was seriously injured.
The incident happened on Saturday, 24 April, 2021. A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.
 

Avatar
TriTaxMan replied to Riggs | 2 years ago
12 likes

I am glad to see that someone has been arrested in response to this, however, what are the chances that the person arrested is the registered keeper, and they will simply use the "I wasn't driving it was someone else and I won't tell you who" defense because that will guarantee to get them a much lower punishment.

I might be going off on a tangent but in my opinion the failure to notify penalty should match the penalty for the original offence + 50% to make it a deterrent to those scrotes who use it, as opposed to the do I take a driving ban/jail/big fine or do i take a few points and a £300 fine for failing to notify.

Avatar
Bungle_52 replied to TriTaxMan | 2 years ago
2 likes

Your logic is impeccable thus ensuring it has no chance of becoming law. The rich and entitled need these loopholes.

Avatar
Sriracha replied to TriTaxMan | 2 years ago
2 likes

I think that, for most domestic vehicles privately owned and insured, they should just assume "joint and several" liability between all who are named on the insurance. That would encourage a few more to shop the true culprit.

Avatar
Rich_cb replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago
7 likes

Essentially you have to make 'failure to nominate' much much more costly than being honest.

Similar situation with 'leaving the scene'. If the penalty for leaving the scene when a person was injured was double the maximum possible sentence for driving related crimes I'm sure you'd see sharp decline in such behaviour.

I think that is the flaw in Ryan's law. It proposes to widen the definition of death by dangerous driving which is legally difficult, I think they should instead focus on much harsher penalties for leaving the scene of an accident. You could achieve the same thing but in a far more legally straightforward way.

Avatar
Grahamd replied to Rich_cb | 2 years ago
3 likes

I agree entirely.

Furthermore, if you think of the reasons why drivers are potentially likely to fail to stop, such as drink / drug driving, then failure should carry an automatic 12 month ban in line with those offences.

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism replied to Rich_cb | 2 years ago
2 likes

Totally agree on what you mention on Ryans Law and that was the DfT's point initially. However the flaw in any argument on hit and run is the normal defence of "I thought it was a deer, dog, pothole that caused the noise". After all we are invisible to people so what else might they have flung up in the air. 

And they have made it a more severe sentence for failure to nominate with it being 6 points ahead of three for careless driving. However they should take it further on instant 6 month ban for privately owned cars as the owner is not taking the responsibility for it that they should. And for company owned vehicles, they should hit them in a similar way that Data breeches are done with a large fine in relation to profits or £10k minimum.

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
8 likes

I'm sure that the driver clapped for him a few months ago and now is not fussed to see him potentially dying in the middle of the road. 

Avatar
TriTaxMan replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
7 likes

Yep, and that is the sad part that in some peoples eyes as soon as you step on a bike you are no longer a person, no longer a valuable member of society, you are simply an object impeding the progress that they want to make and they simply don't care

Avatar
chineseJohn | 2 years ago
9 likes

Get well soon Mark.

I only ride with camera mounted on handlebars but I'm considering getting a 360 camera. Obviously won't stop idioit drivers at the time of an incident but at least they're caught on camera.

Avatar
Riggs | 2 years ago
13 likes

The road he was knocked down on is a nightmare for cyclists. Even with the cycle lane cars travel along it way too fast. The cycle lane is part of the problem as the cars then see it as your lane and my lane and fly past with little space to spare. I've reported numerous drivers on this road resulting in prosecutions however despite writing to the council a number of times in the past decade they will not look at changing the road layout until there are "three or more injury accidents have occurred or sections of roads that have a higher than average accident rate". They point blank refuse to look at any other statistics such as prosecutions, hence more cyclists like Mark will need to be injured or worse before action is taken. South Lanarkshire Council in general is pretty pathetic when it comes to cyclists, a freedom of information request has revealed they don't even have any idea how many cycle lanes they have (they can tell you to the mile how many roads they have) so it's hardly surprising to find they have not implemented a single popup (or permanent) cycle lane in the past year.

Avatar
chineseJohn replied to Riggs | 2 years ago
3 likes

Agreed sometimes painted bike lane can make things worse, there's a lane approaching traffic lights in Newbury/Thacham a lorry though they'd try and squeeze passed my son and I

Avatar
Riggs replied to chineseJohn | 2 years ago
6 likes

This is a clip from the exact same location as the accident (opposite side of the road) taken last night. I caught up with the driver and asked him if he thought he was a bit close, his exact words were "your were in your lane I was in mine".

https://twitter.com/smurtagh21/status/1391118552804073476?s=19

Unfortunately as I said this is all too familiar on this stretch of road. It is near my house so unavoidable, I've dozens of similar clips. I've a quite horrific one where a cyclist was nearly killed on this same road last year I'm planning to submit to near miss of the day but awaiting the court case to conclude first. Will maybe submit the ones from previous prosecutions also.

Avatar
HoarseMann replied to Riggs | 2 years ago
7 likes

Good to have the local angle. I had a quick look at streetview thinking the cycle lanes weren't too bad - to see a car driving right across the lane.

https://goo.gl/maps/RcPy69EEr5fEbKNi8

It looks like the 40mph main road near me. Used to be a 60, but after a few car crashes, it was reduced to 40. But being a big wide straight-ish road, the idiots still can't help themselves; I regularly get tailgated for sticking to the limit.

Hopefully Mark makes a full recovery and is back on the bike soon.

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to Riggs | 2 years ago
12 likes
Riggs wrote:

They point blank refuse to look at any other statistics such as prosecutions, hence more cyclists like Mark will need to be injured or worse before action is taken.

It's either Denmark or Holland that uses risk as a metric rather than ksis.  They spend some time looking at how the road is used, and the risk posed to cyclists and pedestrians rather than counting the bodies.  It's well known and understood that if a road poses a high risk, peds and cyclists will avoid it, thus depressing the ksi figure.  If we want a golden age of cycling, we need to learn from what works in other places, and apply it.  I won't be holding my breath.

Avatar
wtjs | 2 years ago
4 likes

An experienced cyclist like this! Could be any of us...

Avatar
eburtthebike | 2 years ago
7 likes

SFBs; best wishes for a speedy and full recovery Mark.

Nobody deserves to be knocked off and left for dead, and if they find this driver, I hope they throw the book at them and they spend a significant segment of the rest of their lives pondering their actions.

Avatar
Bungle_52 replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
10 likes

Link to Ryan's Law petition calling for proper punishment for drivers who leave the scene of a crash.

The offence of causing 'death by dangerous driving' should be widened to include: failure to stop, call 999 and render aid on scene until further help arrives.

Now at  99,168 signatures . Almost there.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/575620

Avatar
nadsta replied to Bungle_52 | 2 years ago
0 likes

Done. Thank you for the link & GWS Mark, sounds terrifying.

Avatar
ktache replied to Bungle_52 | 2 years ago
0 likes

It would appear I had already signed it...

Avatar
wtjs replied to Bungle_52 | 2 years ago
0 likes

Now at  99,168 signatures . Almost there.

Thanks. I've done it.

Avatar
orangecannonim replied to Bungle_52 | 2 years ago
1 like

99845...
c'mon people , almost there

Pages

Latest Comments