December 12 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
A Norwich cyclist who was struck by a motorist who later tweeted she had knocked someone off their bike said he wants an apology from her but does not want the incident to ruin her life.
Toby Hockley, a member of Norwich-based cycling club Iceni Velo, was on the 100-mile Boudicca Sportive ride in Norfolk on Sunday when he was struck by a car in the Snetterton area just five miles from the finish.
Mr Hockley, 29, who lives off Queen’s Road, Norwich, was not seriously hurt as a result of the incident which is being investigated by police after the motorist, who did not stop, tweeted, “Definitely knocked a cyclist off earlier - I have right of way he doesn’t even pay road tax”.
The tweet was later removed by the motorist - who works for Norwich-based accountants Larking Gowen - but not before police launched an investigation into the incident.
Mr Hockley said she had been “really foolish” but did not yet know whether he was going to press charges as he did not want her to suffer in the long run because of what had happened.
He said: “She’s been made out to be a complete villain. She should’ve stopped and shown some respect to other road users - to have tweeted about it is almost as if she’s proud of the fact she hit a cyclist.
“But I don’t really wish her any ill will. I would quite like her to be made an example of but think that’s already happened through social media.
“I would like her to get a telling off from the police rather than anything that’s going to affect her life in the future. “I don’t her to lose her licence or anything. I just want an apology really.”
Mr Hockley said he was initially planning on keeping the incident to himself so as not to worry his girlfriend but changed his mind after it went “viral” on Twitter.
The freelance chef admits he was lucky not to have been seriously hurt following the crash during which he was sent “shooting off into a hedge” but “miraculously” stayed upright as he came back onto the road after riding straight through the other side.
He said: “It was so quick that all I could think about was keeping on my bike and hoping for the best. When we realised what had happened and that I was alright me and the other rider just burst out laughing with sheer delight really that I was standing up and not under the wheels of the car.”
Norfolk Police said it was investigating and had spoken to both parties.
Larking Gowen have issued a statement. It said: “We are aware that one of our employees posted tweets relating to two incidents on their personal twitter account. Please be assured that this is not a view held by Larking Gowen and we most certainly do not condone this behaviour. We are taking the incidents very seriously. A full and detailed investigation will be carried out and appropriate action taken. We have already spoken to Norfolk Police.”
A spokesman for Iceni Velo said: “As a club we are conscious that we share the road with other road users all of whom are expected to adhere to the requirements of the Highway Code.
“Incidents like this seem to be relatively rare and we are disappointed by the reaction of the individual motorist involved. We hope this raises the awareness of how vulnerable people can be whether that’s as a cyclist or pedestrian on our roads. The club and its committee will cooperate fully with police enquires where necessary and when asked to do so.”