Cyclist 'wiped out' by road rage driver in hit-and-run
A CYCLIST is lucky to be alive after suffering multiple injuries when a road rage driver ran him off the road.
Nick Stack was riding near Wickwar when a 4x4, which was towing a livestock trailer, deliberately swerved in to the verge, knocking him off his bike and forcing a friend who was riding behind to crash into him.
Nick suffered a broken collarbone, a head injury, gashes and bruises in the incident.
But he says it could have been far worse had he not been wearing a cycle helmet.
He needed a second operation three weeks after the accident, to re-set his collarbone so that it would set properly and he will eventually be able to return to cycling and his other physical activities, boot camps and boxing.
The cyclist behind Nick suffered a hairline elbow fracture, cuts and bruises.
Police have issued CCTV images of the vehicle involved (below) and are calling on anyone who recognises it to come forward.
The cyclists were on a training ride, travelling in single file on Sodbury Road from Wotton-under-Edge towards Chipping Sodbury, when the incident happened on the late afternoon of July 28.
Nick said: "We heard someone beeping from a long way back behind us.
"I didn't think much of it but the next thing they were alongside us. The passenger shouted a lot of abuse."
Nick, who lives in Downend, said he looked ahead to keep his eyes on the road and avoid engaging with the driver and passenger but then realised the vehicle was veering across in front of him, leaving him with nowhere to go.
He said: "The trailer whipped in and wiped me out."
Nick's friend was unable to stop and rode into the back of him, leaving both of them injured in the road.
An experienced cyclist and triathlete, Nick is used to cycling hundreds of miles a week in the UK and abroad and is a member of the locally-based Dream Cycling club.
He says that while some drivers occasionally accidentally pass cyclists too close, the driver of the 4x4 and trailer "clearly knew what they were doing", adding: "They were so close I could have reached out and touched them."
After the crash the 4x4, which was towing a trailer marked with the words "livestock in transit", slowed down before driving off.
A witness driving behind has contacted the police but was unable to give officers a registration number.
Nick said the witness had been following the van from near Charfield and said whoever was behind the wheel had been "driving like a lunatic".
He added: "At the end of the day this was a hit-and-run. Those people didn't know what condition I was in, or even whether I was still alive or not."
Nick says the helmet saved his life and advised other riders to make sure they always wear one.
Avon and Somerset police have tracked down CCTV footage of what they believe to be the 4x4 pick-up and trailer and are appealing for anyone who recognises them or thinks they know the driver to call 101, quoting crime reference number 5220 184 275.
A spokesperson said: "The driver overtook and deliberately swerved to the nearside verge, causing the trailer to knock one of the cyclists from his bike and the other cyclist to collide with him.
"We’d ask anyone who witnessed the incident or who may hold dashcam footage to get in touch with us."
Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.