THE friend of a cyclist who was left seriously injured after a hit-and-run’ described the incident as ‘beyond scary’.

Paul Hayward said it is ‘quite unbelievable’ that the driver of a Vauxhall Vivaro van failed to remain at the scene after hitting his friend ‘head on’ by Pulpit Hill between Sparsholt and Childrey near Wantage.

The incident happened at about 11.42am on Sunday, September 25 and Mr Hayward’s friend, a woman in her 30s, was taken to John Radcliffe Hospital where she received treatment for six hours.

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Thames Valley Police have appealed for witnesses but no arrests have yet been made.

“It’s beyond scary as she could have been paralysed,” said Mr Hayward. “She’s got no recollection of it as she was unconscious.

“She was going down a single-track road and the driver was coming up and I don’t know if they didn’t see her but they hit her head on.

“It’s really difficult as a cyclist to be fully on the grass verge so she would have been out a little bit but the driver didn’t stop or slow down - her bike is completely totalled.”

After several hours in hospital, Mr Hayward said his friend is ‘doing amazing’ and has no permanent injuries.

However, he noted that she is ‘terrified’ following the collision and said she felt ‘helpless’.

“She’s absolutely fine,” he said. “She looks like she has been to the Marcham Boxing Club for a couple of rounds as her face is horrific but she hasn’t got any permanent injuries.

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“She needs to wait a few weeks to see if there is a bleed on the brain as sometimes it doesn’t show up straight away.

“But remarkably, despite the bike being destroyed, she’s fine. She’s terrified that she was unconscious and helpless.

“It’s just unbelievable. It’s bad enough to hit a deer or animal and not do something about it but to leave a person?”

Mr Hayward, who is an avid cyclist himself, said cycling in Oxfordshire is ‘dangerous’ and this incident has ‘drummed it home’.

“I always say it’s not a matter of if I get hit, it’s when,” he said. “You always think it won’t happen to you but seeing what has happened to my friend has really drummed it home how helpless you are as a cyclist.

“I haven’t cycled for a week because of it and I don’t when my friend will go out again – it’s going to be a big thing.”

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Mr Hayward and his friends are now trying to identify the van involved in the collision.

If you saw anything, or have information, contact police quoting reference number 43220430762.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing:

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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