Close pass knocks cyclist off his bike

Tommy Hooper Close Pass

Despite suffering from a muscle disorder, Tommy from Peterhead, is a keen cyclist taking part in club time trials as a member of Ythan Cycling Club. Tommy finds that cycling makes a huge difference to his condition allowing him to keep supple and mobile and he regularly covers up to a 100 miles per week. 
 
In February 2018, Tommy was out on a training ride on his Focus Cayo road bike near Peterhead when a white van overtook him so closely that it didn’t even cross the white centre line of the road. The resulting backdraft was enough to take Tommy off his bike. What’s worse is that the van driver didn’t stop and simply carried on, leaving Tommy lying on the road with soft tissue injuries. Thankfully, other motorists were able to safely stop and call an ambulance. Tommy’s injuries were severe enough that he was kept in hospital overnight.

Having already had a collision with a hit and run driver in 2015, Tommy had fitted a Cycliq Fly6 seat-post mounted video camera which captured the whole incident and shows just how closely the van passed him. Importantly, the video footage showed the registration plate of the van involved and accordingly he passed the footage to the Police thinking that the driver ought to be charged with a driving offence. However, to add to Tommy’s run of bad luck, it would seem that his local Police Office never got round to watching the footage or noting the details of the vehicle and then LOST the only copy of the footage, meaning that Tommy was no longer able to identify the vehicle that caused the incident. 
 
Tommy had attended one of our 'Cycling and the Law' presentations in Aberdeen and contacted Cycle Law Scotland for help. Roz Boynton, Associate Solicitor, represented him in his case from our Aberdeen Office. Roz was able to help Tommy by assisting him with submitting a complaint to Police Scotland. Only after the complaint was submitted was the video footage ‘found’. It was unfortunately too late for criminal charges to be brought against the driver, but it allowed us to identify the van and the road traffic insurers. 
 
We were able to intimate a claim to the insurers for the driver who initially denied responsibility for the incident on the basis that there had been no contact between Tommy and the van. Even though the video footage was forwarded to the Insurers, liability continued to be denied. It was only when threatened with Court Action did the Insurers finally agree to settle the case. 
 
Despite suffering serious soft tissue injuries, Tommy was of course most concerned about his bicycle which had been damaged in the incident. We had expert engineers examine the bicycle and were able to obtain full compensation for all new replacement parts, and the replacement costs for all his damaged cycle wear. We also had Tommy examined by our medical expert and obtained compensation for his injuries, expenses and help received from his family.
 
We are delighted to hear that Tommy is now back out on his bike and smashing his cycling PBs again.

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