Thursday, 26 November 2015

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Horror crash Cumbrian cyclists in hospital

Two members of the Carlisle-based Border City Wheelers cycling club were in hospital today after their group was hit by a car.

Peter Priestley photo
Peter Priestley

Five were hurt, including a city dentist who had to be airlifted for emergency treatment, when a Citroen Saxo ploughed into the riders close to Mossband Hall near Rockcliffe as they made their way back to the city after their regular Saturday club ride out.

Peter Priestley, who runs his own dental practice on Warwick Road, was airlifted to Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary and had surgery on Saturday night for hip and pelvis injuries.

He is to be transferred to a hospital in Sunderland for further surgery on a broken hip.

The club’s former time trial secretary, 55-year-old Mr Priestley also suffered hand and arm injuries. Mr Priestley, who recently became a grandfather, was the most badly injured of the party.

Nigel Athroll, 46, was also operated on after he suffered serious facial and leg injuries.

A third cyclist, 51-year-old Chris Dale, from Wetheral, was admitted to hospital with two broken ribs, an injured knee and a possible fractured collar bone, but went home yesterday .

The collision happened on the service road between Carlisle and Gretna, which runs beside the M6 north of the city, on Saturday afternoon. The Citroen Saxo was driven by an Annan man.

A Rover car, driven by a Gretna man, was also involved and the police have launched an investigation.

Two other men – 42-year-old Dave Rawle and Paul Gavin, 48, – were also taken to the Cumberland Infirmary on Saturday but later released after treatment.

Mr Rawle, who works for Capita, and Mr Gavin, who works at the hospital, were treated for cuts, bruises and gravel rash. All five men are experienced cyclists.

Karen Bassett, secretary of the Border City Wheelers, said this morning: “The five of them are still in shock. I was talking to Dave Rawle and it is clear the shock is kicking in. They are just beginning to realise just how lucky they are. They’ve said it happened so quickly.”

She added: “They were out on the usual club run. Every Saturday since the club began there has always been a club run that leaves Carlisle College. This weekend they were heading up to Annan and would have been on their way back.

“They are our A-team, the most experienced riders and were probably wearing the uniform of the club, it is very distinctive.”

The club is hoping the most seriously injured will make a full recovery. Their injuries are not life threatening.

Mr Priestley was the club’s time trial secretary until last year, a role he stepped down from to spend more time with his family.

Mrs Bassett, who suffered a fractured skull and other serious injuries herself following a cycling accident four years ago, added: “We as cyclists appreciate the severity of the injuries and we know it could’ve been an awful lot worse. Our thoughts go out to the families at this time.”

Police are appealing for information. Witnesses are asked to call the north Cumbrian road policing unit on 0845 3300247.


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