A “barbaric” driver in Queensland who allegedly ran down two cyclists on purpose in separate incidents yesterday, leaving one with a serious head injury, has been charged with attempted murder.
Kyle John Heaney, 23, of Noosaville, has also been charged with three counts of dangerous operation of a vehicle and one count each obstructing police and failing to remain at incident and render assistance following a series of incidents yesterday.
Sunshine Coast police allege that at around 10.45 yesterday morning Heaney, driving a silver sedan drove directly into a 20-year-old cyclist at Tanawha, with the rider suffering deep grazing to most of his body after he was thrown from his bike.
Police say that 15 minutes earlier he had rammed from behind a car stopped at traffic lights in Little Mountain. The occupants of that vehicle were uninjured.
After travelling along the Nambour Connection Road, Heaney is said to have rammed another vehicle then swerved deliberately into a 22-year-old male cyclist at around 11am.
The rider sustained a serious head injury in the crash and was taken to Sunshine Coast University Hospital, around 100 kilometres north of Brisbane.
The driver did not stop at the scene and continued to Nambour, where he crashed into a fence. Heaney was arrested shortly afterwards at Coes Creek after wading into a dam.
Police are awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine whether he was under the influence of drink or drugs.
Senior Sergeant Gary Brayley, quoted on 7News.com.au, said: “The allegation is he’s made quite a deliberate attempt to position his vehicle and essentially line up the cyclist, with the intention to collide with him.
“It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve heard for a long, long time. It’s barbaric, actually, what this guy’s done.
“Witnesses describe his behaviour as very erratic, and in their opinion, they’ve suggested he may have been under the influence of liquor or drugs.”
Speaking of the initial incident in Little Mountain, the officer said that “for some unknown reason, he started to blare his horn and draw some attention to himself.
“He then reversed three or four metres and before putting the car back into a forward gear and driving at some speed and colliding with the vehicle immediately in front of him. He then reversed away again and left that scene.”
Referring to the first cyclist Heaney hit, Senior Sergeant Brayley said: “Witnesses indicated that he’s moved to the left of the road, in what would appear to be a deliberate attempt to collide with the cyclist.
“That did eventuate. The cyclist was knocked off his vehicle and again, the offender left the scene without attempting to render assistance.”
As for the second crash in which a cyclist appears to have been deliberately targeted, the officer said: “Witnesses indicated he [Heaney] moved from the right lane to the left lane and then over across to the left of the fog line and essentially just lined up the cyclist and intentionally collided with him.
“That was a far higher speed impact than the first incident with the cyclist and this particularly cyclist was apparently knocked into the air several metres, landed heavily on the road and suffered some very, very serious life-changing injuries.
“The offender again failed to stop, failed to render assistance with absolute callous disregard for the cyclist,” he added.
Heaney appeared at Maroochydore Magistrates Court this morning. He did not enter a plea to the offences he has been charged with, and has been remanded in custody until a further court appearance in December.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.