Injured pedestrian hit by cyclist on Island Bay cycleway speaks out

Linda Gibson is worried a child could die after she collided with a cyclist on the controversial Island Bay cycleway.
ROBERT KITCHIN/STUFF

Linda Gibson is worried a child could die after she collided with a cyclist on the controversial Island Bay cycleway.

Pedestrian Linda Gibson faces months of recuperation and surgery after suffering facial injuries in a collision with a cyclist on Island Bay's controversial cycleway.

But the 57-year-old nurse doesn't blame the cyclist; she blames the Wellington cycleway's "dangerous" design.

Gibson, who admits she was at fault in the accident, has had reconstructive surgery for injuries to her eye-socket, cheek, jaw and nose, as well as having four teeth ripped out and a chunk taken out of her top lip after she stepped out into the segregated cycle lane and was knocked unconscious earlier this month. 

Blood on the road, following the crash on The Parade.
LUCY SWINNEN/STUFF

Blood on the road, following the crash on The Parade.

"They picked my teeth up off the road. Thank God it was me ... I suspect a child or an elderly person could have died," she said. 

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Headaches, blurred vision and dizziness mean she cannot return to work until she has passed a concussion test, and she has been told surgery and treatments on her mouth could take six months. 

A discussion on Facebook including injured cyclist Justin Lane and Gibson's husband Poko Daniels.
SUPPLIED

A discussion on Facebook including injured cyclist Justin Lane and Gibson's husband Poko Daniels.

The cyclist, Justin Lane, suffered a broken shoulder and hip injury, and expressed his concern for Gibson on Facebook.

"Maybe the lesson is for all us to be that bit more alert as we walk, ride, run, drive about the lovely suburb of Island Bay," Lane posted.  

Gibson, a cyclist who opposed the rebooted cycleway design, wants it returned to its original on-road layout, with a buffer zone between the cycleway and parked cars.

Parade resident Roberta Bosman, who was at the crash scene near her house, said Gibson had been doing a good deed by dropping admission forms to her partner, who needed urgent surgery, when the accident happened.

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She found Gibson lying face down and bloodied on the cycleway, while Lane appeared to have flipped over her and was lying by a lamppost.

Bosman, who gave them both blankets, was left physically sickened by the accident. "I was driving afterwards and had to stop and throw up."

A large 4WD parked behind Gibson's car would have obstructed both Gibson's and the cyclist's views, she said.

Both she and Gibson would like to see a speed limit for the cycleway.

Gibson's husband, Poko Daniels, felt such an accident was bound to happen again, and he was worried a child could be killed.

Daniels voted against the current cycleway design, and said Wellington City Council had introduced a fix to a problem that didn't exist.

A Wellington City Council spokesman said: "We were all terribly upset when we heard of the accident, especially when we learnt of Linda's and Justin's injuries.

"It is well known that extensive work has been done over the past few months in terms of options for a reconfigured cycleway, and it must be stressed that the improved safety of all road users – pedestrians, cyclists and motorists – is at the centre of discussions on the proposals that have been the subject of public submissions in recent weeks.

"The submission findings will be available at the end of this week, and the proposals will be considered by councillors on September 27."

The collision happened just before 5pm on September 8 between Tamar St and Avon St on The Parade

Police made inquiries at the scene, but no charges were laid, a spokeswoman said.

 - Stuff

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