Cyclist dies in tragic crash on one of the city's busiest highways

HORRIFIED eyewitnesses have told of the harrowing moment paramedics and passersby battled to try and save a fatally wounded cyclist.

Saturday, 3rd June 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:28 pm
Aftermath of the crash on the Eastern Road in Portsmouth at 5.30pm on Friday, June 2, 2017. Picture: Jason Kay, UKNIP

The rider was left with a serious head injury when he fell off his bike into Eastern Road early yesterday evening before being hit by a van.

Moments before the 48-year-old had collided with another rider while riding south by the Burrfields Road junction.

He collapsed into the busy section of Eastern Road and was then runover by a van.

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Passersby rushed to the stricken cyclist’s aid, with two people – a man and a woman – giving him CPR.

Within minutes, emergency services had flooded the area, sealing off Eastern Road as they fought to treat the rider.

Despite their efforts, he was pronounced dead at the scene, a police spokeswoman confirmed last night.

Trudy Wright, of Milton, was staying in her holiday home at the nearby Harbourside Park and witnessed the aftermath of the crash.

The shocked 49-year-old said: ‘I rushed out there and I could see there was a guy lying there on the floor.

‘The man’s head was covered in blood. There was blood all over his face.

‘I saw someone doing CPR on him. It was horrible.’

Ms Wright’s brother Ken, was visiting her with his wife, Nikki, and also saw the aftermath.

The 52-year-old said: ‘There was a blanket over the man. He was covered head to toe.

‘It’s terrible to think he is now never going home again. There is somebody in a house that’s going to get some horrible news.’

Nikki, 49, added: ‘It was shocking. We couldn’t believe it. One woman was crying.’

The crash happened shortly after 5.30pm.

Police shut off most of the southern section of Eastern Road for almost five hours.

Officers from the force’s serious collision investigation unit are now appealing for witnesses to come forward.

A spokeswoman for the force said: ‘Sadly, one of the cyclists, a 49-year-old man from Portsmouth was pronounced dead at the scene.

‘His next of kin have been told and are being supported by specialist officers.

‘The other male cyclist suffered minor injuries and the male van driver was uninjured.

Mike Melias, 57, is the camp warden at Harbourside. He said that stretch of the road was a notorious blackspot and demanded safety improvements were made.

‘There have been so many near-misses,’ he said. ‘Bikes shoot backwards and forwards across the junction even when there’s a red light.

Witnesses should call police on 101, quoting 44170209687, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.