Hit group-riding cyclist dies in hospital

MATT BOWEN AND MIKE MATHER
Last updated 21:15 03/07/2013
smashed cycle
DAMAGED: One of the bikes involved in the crash
cyclist crash
MARK TAYLOR/ Fairfax NZ
BATTERED: Bill Donaldson’s helmet saved him from serious head injuries when he was struck by a car and flung through the air into a fence on Monday night.

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The cyclist critically injured after being hit by a car on Monday evening has died in Waikato Hospital.

Craig Goulsbro, a 49-year-old husband and father of one, died about 4.30pm surrounded by close family.

Craig Goulsbro suffered head injuries after being hurled through the windscreen of a car that struck a group of about 16 cyclists riding on Puketaha Rd, about 6.20pm on Monday

He had been taking part in a regular evening ride.

Fellow rider Bill Donaldson was in the middle of the line of cyclists, who, he says, were hit from behind when the Ford Falcon appeared to swerve into them while overtaking.

Donaldson was right behind Goulsbro and believes he may have been struck first.

"I was catapulted into a fence and knocked out cold. I was out for about seven to 10 minutes," he told the Waikato Times.

Although battered and bruised, Donaldson was back at home yesterday, sure that his helmet, which took the brunt of the impact, saved his life.

Donaldson's bike, left with a badly buckled back wheel and a cracked frame, remains in the hands of the police, as are the bikes of the other riders hit as the serious crash unit investigates.

It is an all too familiar situation for Waikato cyclists; three Morrinsville Wheelers club members were killed in 2010 when a car struck the group of 10 near the town.

Senior Sergeant Andrew O'Reilly of Hamilton said it would be weeks before any decision would be made on laying charges over Monday's incident.

"It's still very early in the inquiry. There will be a very thorough investigation, but we need to wait and get the emotional impact of the investigation out of the way," he said.

Donaldson said the riders know the road is busy and take it carefully.

"We were all definitely riding in single file and we all had lights, front and back.

"Our group have ridden on that road for the past two years, every Monday and Thursday night so we know it well. It's a good, flat road and we have never had any incidents."

But the driver of the car who hit the group told the Times the riders weren't in single file and if they had been, there wouldn't have been a collision.

The man, who would not give his name, had dropped off a friend at Chartwell and was heading home to his parents' house in the Gordonton area for dinner when he came up behind the riders on Puketaha Rd just after dark.

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Having travelled the stretch of road all his life he felt comfortable pulling out to pass the pack at around 100kmh with a car approaching ahead.

He said the slight S bend in the road before the crash site and mild undulations, combined with the darkness, were enough to obscure how many riders were in front of him.

He said he had little choice but to pull into the group or risk a head-on collision with the oncoming car.

Goulsbro thumped onto the windscreen, shattering it, before the driver swerved to the right and spun to a stop.

The man, who works as a truck driver, said the crash was a horror and said he had been running through events in his head ever since.

Police say investigations are continuing.

- Waikato Times

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