Police seek hit-and-run driver who left two cyclists in hospital – one with a broken back

John Bennett was left in York Hospital with a broken back. Photograph: John Bennett / Facebook
1 Jun 2020 @ 5.52 pm
| Crime

Two cyclists were knocked over by a hit-and-run driver who ‘deliberately’ targeted them – leaving one with a broken back.

John Bennett and Martin Townsend were struck as they cycled on the B1222 at Naburn near York Marina on Bank Holiday Monday (25 May) when they were ‘wiped out’ by a car.

Both were injured, John seriously.

He suffered a broken back in the collision, and faces 12 weeks in a spinal brace with possible permanent damage to his back.

Both John and Martin are experienced cyclists and members of Barnsley Road Club.

John told YorkMix: “I’m 100% certain that he deliberately knock me off the bike.

“There was no reason for the driver to be driving that close and definitely no reason for him to turn into me because no cars were coming the other way.”

Close to being paralysed

John now has to wear a back brace

John and Martin had cycled from Barnsley towards Naburn, a regular destination.

They usually stop at the York Marina cafe, but as it was closed had a coffee break at a petrol station before setting off back along the B1222.

They were near the Millbridge Farm caravan park between Stillingfleet and Naburn when the collision occurred.

John said the car turned into them, hitting him and forcing him into Martin.

He had deep gashes to his face. And an X-ray at York Hospital showed he had fractured his spine – and came close to being paralysed.

Other cyclists in danger

The accident happened on the B1222 near York Marina. Photograph © Google Street View

“I’m definitely worried that other cyclists are in danger of this driver and since the lockdown I’ve noticed definite hostility towards cyclists,” John said.

“Since the incident I’ve had loads of messages from other cyclists about near misses and been hit by cars.

“Only yesterday a cyclist was hit by a car just round the corner from me and he’s ended up with a broken ankle and a bone broken in his neck.

“I’m worried for all cyclists at the minute and something needs to be done – the government needs to crackdown heavily on these drivers.”

A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said they are keen to speak to anyone with information.

They said: “Officers would also like to speak with anyone who has their suspicions around a vehicle, possibly dark-coloured, which has sustained recent damage which may connect to this incident.”

north-yorkshire-police-logo-25How to help the police

Call North Yorkshire Police on 101
Contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via the website
Quote reference number 12200087038