Cyclist in hit and run

By JULIA ILES

julia.iles@dailyexaminer.com.au

TWO North Coast cyclists were injured in hit and run incidents on the eve of the anniversary of olympic cyclist Amy Gillett's fatal accident in Germany last year.

Mrs Gillett was killed when a motorist collided with the Australian road cycling team during a training ride.

On Monday a 23-year-old Maclean woman was found lying on the roadside at 5.17pm after her small BMX bike was rammed into grassland near Goddard Lane on Yamba Road.

A white car hit her from behind as it was travelling out of Yamba (25km from Maclean).

It was witnessed by a nearby resident who called the ambulance and reported it to police.

Fortunately the young woman only sustained minor injuries including stomach discomfort and multiple abrasions to her right arm.

She was taken to Maclean and District Hospital by the ambulance and discharged hours later.

The Grafton and Maclean police are seeking any person who may have been in the area at the time.

"It is not out of the realm of possibility that the driver did not see the cyclist but it is very unlikely," Chief Inspector Darren Spooner said.

"It was that time of the day where the sun was setting and the motorist was driving into the sun. I am sure there would be some damage to the car and we will be checking with local panel beaters."

Earlier in the day at 11.50am a 39-year-old Casino man was knocked from his bike 10 km from Casino on the Coraki to Casino Road near Greenridge.

He sustained damage to his lower back, smashed his bike helmet and suffered abrasions and bruising from where he fell to the ground.

It is still unclear what made the man fall from his bike, but he told police a red sedan had sped away after he had fallen.

The man was able to ride 10km to the Casino Police Station.

The Grafton Cycling Club publicity officer Diane Roberts said she had felt unsafe many times while riding on roads due to motorists.

"Motorists have to understand that we have a right to be on the road and they must be tolerant, sometimes they breeze past so close and have only just been able to clear us," she said.

Ms Roberts, a veteran cyclist of 25 years, was injured in March in a freak accident, which involved a speeding motorist who ran into two kangaroos, one of which flew at her after being hit by the vehicle.

She encourages people to take precautions when cycling.

"I wear reflective clothes, have front and rear lights and ride with only two abreast and always to the left hand side of the road," she said.

Anyone with information about the hit and run incidents are asked to contact the NSW Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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