“I WAS lucky my injuries were not a lot worse” – that was the sentiment of a cyclist struck by a car whose driver who did not wait around after the accident.
Laurence Tondelier was cycling to work last week, when on the mini-roundabout at South Farm Road and Carnegie Road, Worthing, he was hit by a car being driven by a fair-haired, middle-aged woman.
The 28-year-old was thrown from his bike, and said initially the woman driver did stop to see if he was ok, but before the police could arrive she left the scene and did not leave her details.
Laurence, of Dominion Road, said: “I’m upset and angry that the lady who hit me did not stay long enough to see me safely into the ambulance and did not exchange details as required by the law.
“I don’t know what else I could have done, as it was my right of way, I was wearing a high-vis jacket and I was already on the roundabout when she hit me. She seemed to be in a world of her own.
“I thought her conscience might kick in and she would get in touch with the police later that day, but she didn’t.”
The accident happened at around 8am on Tuesday, November 15.
Laurence had to be taken to Worthing Hospital where he had x-rays to check for broken ribs. Nothing showed up at the time, but there is a chance they are not visible yet.
He said he was still in significant pain and following the incident had to take the rest of last week off work. He has lots of internal bruising, and is now having to get lifts to his work, Invensys Eurotherm in Durrington, as he is still unable to cycle.
Because of the initial shock after the accident, Laurence was unable to give police a description of the car, and said he cannot remember the registration number. There was a witness who dialled 999 for him, but they also disappeared before police arrived on the scene.
He said: “I would like to thank the passers-by who stopped to help me – the man who dialled the emergency services and the student who stayed with me until the ambulance arrived.
“I’m also grateful to the ambulance service for getting to the scene so quickly and to the police for looking after my bike and investigating the incident.
“I really hope the woman that did this will read this and get in touch with the police. This has reminded me how vulnerable cyclists are, and it’s definitely going to make me more wary of getting back on my bike. I was lucky my injuries were not a lot worse, as they easily could have been.”
A spokeswoman for Sussex Police confirmed they were investigating the incident. She said: “Officers would like to speak to the driver of the car or anyone who witnessed the incident who might be able to assist police with their enquiries.
“Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police on 101 quoting serial 195 of 15/11 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”