Friday, November 04, 2016

Thompson's Cross cyclist victim 'lucky to be wearing helmet'

The story we reported yesterday on a traffic incident with a cyclist at Thompson's Cross has been confirmed by an eye-witness account, writes Brian Byrne.

The incident on Wednesday evening at around 7.45pm involved a local man riding a motorised bicycle, coming from the Athy direction towards Kilcullen. The cyclist passed the junction but was finding it quite tight as the traffic was steady in both directions.

"He had just passed the end of the Castledermot road but hadn't yet reached Sunnyhill road when a 4x4 passed him very close," our eyewitness says. "So close in fact that at first I thought the wing mirror had clipped him. He seemed to try to pull over tight but caught the kerb and was thrown over it and landed on his head and face. A few passersby, including myself, pulled over to see if he was okay.

"It was quite a heavy fall and he was out cold for at least a minute. As I was running over to him he was completely motionless on the ground. He was very groggy when he came round and his face was badly cut up. He was fortunate to be wearing a helmet because it was clear from the damage on it that it took the brunt of the impact."

Our correspondent says that one of the people who pulled over was clearly a health professional who checked the victim over thoroughly.

"The issue wasn't that he wasn't seen, it was that due to the heavy traffic at the time — vehicles passing him hadn't sufficient room to pull out safely and instead tried to squeeze past him. If he had fallen out into the carriageway instead of behind the kerb the situation could have been much much worse."

The fears locally are that in the dark evenings there is still significant commuter traffic going through the junction, and it is a busy time for joggers, walkers and cyclists. There is a high probability that something very serious could happen.

This morning, Deputy Martin Heydon said he will bring the incident immediately to the attention of the Area Engineer. There has been strong criticism of the current works, intended to slow down traffic but at the same time forcing cyclists, pedestrians and joggers out into the mainstream traffic, from the previous hard shoulder.