Father and son charged

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 05:00 09/06/2012

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A father and son from Atiamuri have been charged over a crash that left two Taupo cyclists battling serious injuries. David Joyce and Sirpa Lajunen, of Kinloch, were knocked off their bikes as they cycled along Poihipi Rd, Taupo about 3.10pm on May 25.

Constable Nick Weight of Taupo police said the two vehicles – one being driven by Tim Dobbyn and the other by his 17-year-old son, Jordan – were travelling along Poihipi Rd in convoy when they came across the two cyclists.

It's understood Tim had bought a new car in Taupo and the pair were returning, in convoy, home.

Mr Dobbyn successfully pulled wide to avoid the pair but Jordan's vehicle collided with them.

The impact sent the pair flying through the air, with Ms Lajunen landing with her helmet over her eyes and one of her bicycle's wheels wrapped around her head.

Ms Lajunen suffered five cracked vertebrae and has had surgery to have a metal rod inserted. She is still recovering in Waikato Hospital.

Mr Joyce also suffered a broken spine and has since been discharged from hospital but still requires outpatient treatment.

Mr Weight said police had carried out an investigation into the cause of the crash.

As a result Jordan had been charged with two counts of careless driving causing injury and one count of driving while his licence was revoked.

His father, 51, has been charged with counselling another driver to drive while their licence was revoked.

Jordan was involved in ahorrific car crash 18 months ago which put him in a coma for two weeks and required a lengthy stint of rehabilitation.

It's understood he still suffers from a head injury.

Mr Weight said the crash was a stark reminder that riders and motorists had equal rights and responsibilities on the road.

"Cyclists are particularly vulnerable, and other motorists are urged to be aware of their surroundings at all times. It is recommended that a 1.5-metre distance is given to cyclists and if circumstances prevent this, then drivers should be patient until they are sure they can pass safely." The pair will appear before Taupo District Court on 27 June.

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- Waikato Times

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