News

Helmet saves cop’s life after being clipped on Pacific Hwy

A FEW inches and there could have been a very different outcome for Grafton cyclist Peter Hughes last week, when he crash- landed head-first after his bicycle was clipped by a semi-trailer at Glenugie.

Wearing a helmet could also have been the difference between life and death.

>> RELATED: A raft of new rules come into force across NSW for bicycle riders

On Wednesday the local police officer and Grafton Cycle Club member was training with a group for the Grafton to Inverell race, riding single file, and was on the home stretch of a ride from Coffs Harbour when he felt his wheels turn sharply away from the road.

"I remember the impact of my head hitting the ground but that was it," he said.

"My mate was riding a little bit up the road and heard the thud too, but then the truck went past, thought it was that and kept riding.

"It was only when he looked back that he saw I was on the ground not moving."

>> VIDEO: Grafton bicycle retailer supports new helmet laws introduced for cyclists

Next thing he knew, a passer-by who was the crash was running towards him with a first aid kit.

"I was under the impression I got up straight away but the lady said 'I thought you were dead because you weren't moving', so by the sounds of it I must have been knocked out," he said.

"I was really lucky I fell the way I did, and obviously the helmet has saved me."

>> IN THE WAUGH ZONE: Steve Waugh rates five days cycling from Sydney to Grafton as toughest thing he has ever done

The impact did plenty of damage though, to both the helmet and to Mr Hughes.

He was left with the shape of the helmet imprinted on his head in bruising, bruising to his jaw and scratches down the side of his face, as well as gravel rash and abrasions on his left arm.

After experiencing headaches Mr Hughes went to hospital as a precaution and was kept there four hours for observation.

Peter Hughes looks at the helmet he had on after he was clipped by a truck while riding from Coffs Harbour.
Peter Hughes looks at the helmet he had on after he was clipped by a truck while riding from Coffs Harbour. Adam Hourigan

He was okay, but the medical professionals confirmed he probably would be dead if not for the protection of his $300 stack hat.

It is a cautionary tale which is also timely, because from tomorrow the fine for bicycle riders who fail to wear a helmet will rise from $71 to $319.

>> RELATED: A raft of new rules come into force across NSW for bicycle riders

"I'm not really for fining people more but it needs to be looked at as obviously a lot of people get around without helmets on, and some people set a bad example for kids," Mr Hughes said.

"Basically the thing I want to get across is yes, wear a helmet because it does save your life."

There is the fact the accident would never have happened if the truck driver had given the police officer enough room.

The laws which come in tomorrow also include a rule that drivers who pass a bicycle rider must allow a distance of at least one metre when the speed limit is 60km/h or less, and 1.5 metres when the speed limit is more than 60km/h.

>> SEE ALSO: Grafton cyclist Peter Hughes participated in his first Grafton to Inverell Cyclo Sportif in 2015

 

 

Drivers caught not allowing the minimum distance face a $319 fine and the loss of two demerit points.

Mr Hughes said he hoped it would help in the Clarence Valley where there appeared to be an "us versus them mentality".

"We're entitled to be on the road, and I was just very lucky because with a 10% angle in the other direction it could have gone a very different way," he said.

"It not only affects us, it affects our families. I've got a four-year-old saying 'if you ride your bike going to die'.

"If anyone takes their mind off the road for a second it can be over for someone's life."

Topics:  bicycle safety grafton cycle club



Wonder Woman Kara runs for suicide awareness

Kara Sutherland just after she's hopped off the treadmill in her 24-hour treadmill marathon.

Kara's fundraiser brings tons of people to support suicide awareness

BACK-TO-BACK: McKimms clinch Grafton Cup naming rights for 2017

McKimms Real Estate celebrate winning the naming rights for the Grafton Cup for the second year in a row.

Family-owned real estate to be front and centre for July again.

NRRRL: Magpies on a mission for home fans

ON A MISSION: Captain- coach Dan Randall hopes to lead Lower Clarence Magpies to their first victory of the 2017 NRRRL season when they run out in front of their home fans against Evans Head Bombers at the Nest this Sunday.

Lower Clarence ready for another cracker at the Nest

Local Partners

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

SUNSHINE Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice nearly saw her form a duo with her battle round opponent.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!