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Father of 16-year-old cyclist demands hit-and-run driver who left his son "for dead" be brought to justice

The teenage cyclist suffered serious head injuries and is now struggling with memory loss and a speech impediment

A father of a 16-year-old cyclist from Birmingham has demanded justice and appealed for information about a hit-and-run driver who left his son "for dead", with the cyclist suffering a serious head injury and now struggling with memory loss and a speech impediment, with doctors suggesting that it will take up to two years for him to fully recover from his "severe brain trauma".

Harvey Aitken was cycling along Wharfdale Road, Tyseley, when he was struck by a car driver at around 11.35pm on 9 July. The teenager spent three weeks in hospital with a bleed on the brain.

Harvey's father, Andrew Aitken, has now agreed to release photos from his time in the hospital in a bid to seek justice.

He said: "Harvey has suffered a severe brain trauma as a result of this hit-and-run and we have been told it will take up to two years for him to fully recover.

"When I received the phone call at 3am that morning my heart sank, it is every parents’ worst nightmare. The whole family has been impacted by this incident, including Harvey's five siblings who were distressed to hear what had happened to their brother.

"We as his parents feared for his life and it has been such a battle for the family unit as a whole. I am appealing to anyone who saw or heard anything that night to please contact the police because the person responsible needs to be brought to justice. They left our 16-year-old son lying in the road for dead.

"Thankfully Harvey is a strong lad and a survivor but this incident has had a profound impact on his life."

> "Angry and frightened" Birmingham locals protest following spate of deaths and serious injuries to cyclists and pedestrians. The start of real change?

West Midlands Police said that they are appealing for information and trying to identify one vehicle which they believe was involved and pulled up shortly afterwards. Shortly, another vehicle stops and appears to flash the driver of vehicle one. Both then drove off.

Car 1, Birmingham hit-and-run (West Midlands Police)

Car 1, Birmingham hit-and-run (West Midlands Police)

Car 2, Birmingham hit-and-run (West Midlands Police)

Car 2, Birmingham hit-and-run (West Midlands Police)

The police force said: "We'd urge the driver of vehicle one to do the right thing and come forward to explain exactly what happened. We'd also ask the driver of vehicle two to contact us as they may have vital information which can help us trace the car and who was behind the wheel."

"You can contact our traffic investigation unit via Live Chat on our website, or by calling 101, and quote log 4494 of 9 July. Road safety is a key issue for us; we know that by working together with local communities and partners we can make significant progress in creating safer roads."

> Campaigners call for an “end to road violence” after three cyclists, including a 12-year-old boy “killed by motorists” in three weeks in Birmingham

Road safety in Birmingham has come under the spotlight in recent months, following seven hit-and-runs in less than a month, killing four cyclists, including a 12-year-old, with 15 campaign groups signing a letter to the council calling for an "end to road violence".

In June, hundreds of protestors lined up at Kings Heath to protest the increasingly dangerous state of roads. The busy junction in Birmingham was the spot where a young girl and a child were struck by a driver last week. It was also the spot where 13-year-old Hope Fenell was riding her bike when she was struck by an HGV driver in 2011. While the driver got a prison sentence of six months, Hope lost her life.

West Midlands' walking and cycling commissioner Adam Tranter also called for urgent action to "turn the tide on aggressive driving in Birmingham".

"Everyone should feel safe using our roads but through a combination of design, policy and enforcement priorities, this is not the case," he said. "We cannot accept this as normal."

> "Relentless enforcement of the rules of the road": Police force crackdown on dangerous driving after cyclist deaths

Soon after, police in Birmingham responded by undertaking a day of action targeting dangerous driving, with more than 70 motorists stopped, including one allegedly watching a video on their phone behind the wheel.

Adwitiya joined 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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Fignon's ghost | 7 months ago
1 like

Every dads worst nightmare. Get well soon kiddo.
You can only hope the scumbags get caught.
Personally. I'd get onto the anpr people. This could be a terror event.

Born_peddling | 7 months ago

As sad as this actually is the police won't get anywhere with asking about like this, chances are this being Birmingham that that car was probably rented and said driver is probably already driving round in a different make/model and colour, by reference car 1 looks like it could be an Audi or Mercedes 5 door models and not cheap to rent. So was probably rented out by their parents.....I will remind you all of the car rental age for performance/luxury cars is 30. So do the cops think there are that many bought and paid for cars like that on the road? Think they'd be better off checking rental dealerships for any damage cars that have come in 😉

chrisonabike replied to Born_peddling | 7 months ago
1 like

Apparently also favoured by drug dealers - their older (late teens / early twenties) sales staff like a nice car and with fast money coming and not wanting to be too identifiable why not provide them rental ones as perks?

BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 7 months ago

It seems as if the car drivers were 'racing'. 

Sriracha replied to BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 7 months ago

If that's the case, can they both be prosecuted under "joint enterprise" with equal culpability for the results? Surely racing each other fits the definition; "a person will only be guilty of a joint enterprise offence if they intended to encourage or assist the person who committed the offence to do it."

Sriracha | 7 months ago

Surely with the amount of CCTV around the police were able to secure other footage of these two cars, maybe even trace them back to a start/end location?

chrisonabike replied to Sriracha | 7 months ago

They'd have to ask, though...

(This may happen if they think there's been a "real crime" but IIRC in some cases reported here police left this to the initiative of the victim and relations and the helpfulness of those with CCTV).

Besides, "there are a lot of white cars about" and "sorry, we've just been told we have to go and investigate every ******* theft."

Oldfatgit | 7 months ago

I wish Harvey and his family a rapid and pain-free recovery, and I hope he leads a long and happy live.

As for the "people" driving or in the car ... nothing would give me greater pleasure to hear that you have become paraplegic for the rest of your life. Nothing would give me more pleasure in knowing that for the rest of your life - and may it be a long one - every breath is pain, every movement is suffering.

Hirsute replied to Oldfatgit | 7 months ago

For any new readers, the poster is writing from direct experience of being on the end of these collisions.

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