Case Study

Cyclist critically injured at Walberton junction on A27 still in hospital 4 months later

Incident date: 
Sun, 26 Aug 2012

A cyclist is in a critical condition following a collision with a white long wheelbase Ford Transit van, on the eastbound A27 near Fontwell, West Sussex.

The collision happened at 7.25am on Saturday 26th August, at the A27 junction with Yapton Lane (see https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Hundredhouse+Copse,+Walberton,+Arun+Dis…). The 46-year old cyclist, who lives in Eastbourne, was taken by Air Ambulance to Kings College Hospital in South London, where he remains in a critical condition.

The van driver, a 22-year old man from Southampton, was unhurt.

PC Clare Cranswick of the Sussex Road Policing Unit, said; “Police are appealing for witnesses who may have seen the collision or the vehicles just beforehand. If you can help please call us on 101 quoting Operation Damask.”

A Sussex Police spokesman said; “It was necessary to shut the road for three hours to allow the helicopter to land and for the cyclist to be treated at the roadside by emergency paramedics. Both we and the highway authority would like to thank the public for their patience whilst the road was closed.”

  • UPDATE (25/01/13)

Eastbourne Rovers cyclist Rob Rickson remains in hospital following his crash during a race on the A27 in Fontwell, West Sussex last September.

Rickson was hit by a van which pulled out in front of him and was airlifted from the scene to a London hospital where he remained in a critical condition on a ventilator for two weeks.

Since October, he has received specialist care for a spinal injury at Salisbury hospital. The Popular Eastbourne Rover requires a further operation on his neck and has been receiving hydroptherapy and electro stimulation therapy.

Occupational therapists also recently surveyed his Eastbourne home to see how it could be adapted for his return.Club Champion Iain Brogden said, “Rob is a very popular member of Eastbourne Rovers.

“If not racing, you would often find Rob out on the course marshalling and cheering his club mates on. Despite his injuries, Rob’s strength of character has enabled him to remain positive about his recovery.”

The number eight was in his 5th year of competitive bike riding. He has been part of the team since it started and also sat on the committee of the very first Eastbourne Cycling Festival as well as helping run the Wattbike Racing stall at events such as the Eastbourne Cycling Festival.

CTC's view: 

It is regrettable that the Portsmouth News used wording provided by the Press Association, in reporting that “A cyclist is fighting for his life after crashing into a Ford Transit van”.

At this stage, we do not know who was at fault; hence the media should avoid prejudicially suggesting that it was the cyclist who crashed into the van, rather than the other way round.

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