Bike crash victim backs pavement cycling campaign

RECOVERING Eileen Webb with PCSO Ann Adams. Inset, in hospital after her accident
RECOVERING Eileen Webb with PCSO Ann Adams. Inset, in hospital after her accident
A police car parked outside Catherine House in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth, earlier tonight. Picture: Byron Melton

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WHEN Eileen Webb woke up injured in hospital, the last thing she remembered was stepping out of her front gate.

The 72-year-old had been unconscious for two days after being knocked down by a cyclist who was riding along the pavement.

RECOVERING Eileen Webb in hospital after her accident

RECOVERING Eileen Webb in hospital after her accident

She has now teamed up with Fareham police to warn others about the dangers of riding recklessly.

The grandmother, of Gosport Road in Fareham, said: ‘I can’t remember anything apart from trying to cross the road and being hit on my left-hand side while I was on the pavement. When I regained consciousness, I was dumbfounded – it took a while to sink in, but then I felt angry.

‘I could have died with such a clout to the head.’

Mrs Webb had been taken to Southampton General Hospital by ambulance because of her head injuries, but she also suffered a fractured eye-socket, broken nose, broken ribs and severe bruising.

And although she is now over the worst of the injuries from the accident last August, she is expecting to see a neurologist next week about ongoing problems and needs another operation on her nose.

Mrs Webb said: ‘I was not looking forward to coming home.

‘I could not do basic tasks around the home, and I did not go out of the house because I was very depressed.

‘I had dark thoughts, believing it was a pity the collision had not finished me off completely.

‘Having your family around you and finding things to laugh at with a good sense of humour pulled me through.’

She is now warning cyclists to take more care before someone dies.

‘It’s stupid behaviour not to be looking out and aware of others on the pavement. Some of the cyclists I see are listening to music on headphones or talking on a mobile phone,’ she said.

‘They need to slow down at corners and give pedestrians a wide berth.’

The 18-year-old Gosport man who collided with Mrs Webb received a caution for careless cycling after police consulted the Webb family.

Fareham PCSO Ann Adams is leading the campaign and is planning to visit schools and put up a posters warning cyclists to be careful on pavaments.

She said: ‘I hope Eileen’s candid and emotive account of what happened will leave a lasting impression in the minds of cyclists.’