Injury highlights cyclists' vulnerability

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 11:26 27/07/2013
Sockburn crash July 26
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ

CRASH: A cyclist and truck and trailer unit collided in Sockburn this morning.

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The driver of an 18-wheel truck which struck a cyclist in Sockburn was turning into a driveway when he hit the man, police say.

The cyclist, a man in his 30s, was last night in a serious condition in Christchurch Hospital after he was dragged under the truck and trailer unit and became trapped about 7.30am yesterday.

Cycling advocates say the incident highlights the need for side under-run protection and blind spot mirrors to be made mandatory for heavy vehicles.

Three Christchurch cyclists have been killed from crashes since the start of the year.

In yesterday's incident, the two collided at the corner of Curletts and Blenheim roads, outside the Meadow Fresh factory.

The cyclist was freed by the Fire Service and was taken to Christchurch Hospital with serious injuries.

A hospital spokeswoman said last night the injured cyclist was in a serious but stable condition.

Sergeant Warren Campbell said the truck and trailer unit had been turning into a driveway when the crash happened.

The driver would be spoken to, he said.

The truck driver was employed by Move Logistics.

Move Logistics managing director Brendan Prendergast said the driver was uninjured but "certainly shaken" by the crash.

"He is also very concerned about the welfare of the cyclist. He has been receiving appropriate support and counselling through the day and this will be ongoing over the next couple of days."

University of Canterbury transport engineering senior lecturer Glen Koorey, a member of cycling advocacy group Spokes, said trucks were over-represented in cyclist fatality statistics.

Often it was an issue of limited visibility, he said.

Chief coroner Neil MacLean ordered a coronial inquiry into cyclist deaths after five cyclists were killed in three crashes in late 2011.

The last of the five hearings - which covered 12 deaths - was held in Christchurch last month.

It is not known when the findings of the inquiry will be released but Coroner Gordon Matenga is expected to make hard- hitting recommendations on cycle safety.

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- Fairfax Media

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