Cyclist denies 'hit and run' claim

LAURA BASHAM AND SASHA BORISSENKO
Last updated 13:00 14/01/2014
Georgia Thomas
MARTIN DE RUYTER/Fairfax NZ
AFTERMATH: Georgia Thomas with the bent front wheel of her bicycle, which was damaged in a hit-and-run incident in Stoke.

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A Nelson cyclist has fronted up to clear his name over a collision, saying he was not a hit-and-run rider.

Georgia Thomas, 12, had her bike damaged in the collision and her mother, Michelle, was outraged, saying Georgia had been left injured and in tears.

Now Greg Frost, 34, has come forward saying: "I am a father and would never leave a child, or anyone for that matter, without checking if they are okay and seeing if they have a way of getting home."

Mr Frost, a fulltime dad, had been biking from his Nelson home to his parents' place in Monaco where his 4-year-old son, Diego, was staying. They had planned a picnic at the Hackett and, Mr Frost, a marathon runner, planned to run home.

The cycle crash happened on Langdon Bridge, next to the Whakatu Dr roundabout at Annesbrook.

Mr Frost said Georgia was riding in the middle of the path, making it difficult for him to avoid her. He put on his hand brakes and went over his handlebars in the collision.

"Georgia and I picked ourselves up. I asked Georgia if she was OK. She was very polite and also asked if I was okay."

He said he offered to try to straighten her bent front wheel but was unsuccessful, and asked where she was heading and she replied to her mother's work.

He recalled that she said she would push her bike up the hill and call her mother and that he asked if she had a phone which she confirmed she did.

He said in hindsight he should have left his phone number with her to follow up but at the time he was shaken and his knee and elbow were bleeding.

Georgia had been insistent that she wanted to walk up the hill with her bike and call her mother.

Mr Frost said that as he was a tall man he thought she might have been worried or felt intimidated as there was nobody else around.

"I watched momentarily as she walked away. She was walking fine and appeared to be okay."

He had already told family and friends about what had happened before a story was published in the Nelson Mail on Friday and he then contacted Nelson police.

Some details of the description, including that he had a diamond tattoo on his upper arm, were incorrect.

Nelson police have confirmed they will not be taking the matter further.

Mr Frost sent a letter to the Thomases to clarify what had happened, noting that he was left shaken so his memory was a little hazy, but Ms Thomas did not agree with the contents of the letter.

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Georgia and her mother disputed Mr Frost's series of events and said if someone hit a child that was a fraction of their age they would stay with them until their parent arrived.

He only needed to look at the state of Georgia's bikeframe, wheel and cracked helmet to stay with her, she said.

Georgia was so hurt in the incident that she has had to withdraw from competing in this year's Colgate Games track and field competition, she said.

This would mean the family was out of pocket with Georgia's bike, and also had to bear the cost of hotel and travel cancellations and future physiotherapy visits.

Mr Frost said he would consider making a contribution to the bike.

- Nelson

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