The split second that changed John's life

July 06 2021
The split second that changed John's life

A YATE cyclist has spoken of his two-year struggle to overcome serious injuries he suffered when he was hit by a car on a roundabout.

John Cornforth suffered a traumatic brain injury and pelvic fractures in the collision, which happened in Wickwar Road, near Chipping Sodbury, in June 2019.

The 74-year-old, who was wearing a high-vis jacket and a helmet, was thrown from his bike and knocked unconscious.

John was taken to hospital where he underwent surgery and spent three weeks, before transferring to a specialist rehabilitation unit for a further five weeks.

Following the crash, John, who still suffers mobility issues and has an increased risk of epilepsy because of his injuries, instructed lawyers Irwin Mitchell to help him secure funding for the specialist treatment and therapies he needs, after the driver’s insurers admitted liability for the crash.

The dad-of-one has also backed planned changes to the Highway Code which will require motorists to give extra priority to all cyclists on roundabouts.

The proposed addition to Rule 186 states drivers should give priority to cyclists on roundabouts, give them plenty of room and not attempt to overtake them within their lane.

It also proposes drivers allow cyclists to move across their path as they travel around the roundabout and take extra care when entering a roundabout not to cut across cyclists who are continuing around the roundabout.

John was cycling a circular route from Yate, through Rangeworthy to Chipping Sodbury when the collision happened in the middle of the day at the junctions of Wickwar Road, St John’s Way and Drovers Way.

A car entered the junction from St John’s Way – John’s left – hitting the bike. 

John, a former electronic test engineer, also suffered broken ribs and a broken finger in the crash. He had his driver’s licence revoked for six months because of his increased risk of epilepsy.

John still has issues walking long distances and exercising, and has hearing problems.

He said: "Ever since that split second life hasn’t been the same. I’ve always been fit and active and then suddenly to have your independence taken away was difficult to accept. I was a lot more reliant on my daughter to assist me with day to day tasks following my discharge from hospital.

"Even now I still struggle to walk long distances. I don’t feel comfortable cycling on the road so have given up road-riding and do all my cycling on a turbo trainer.

"I’ve also decided to sell my motorbike because I now consider that two wheeled transport on the public roads is too dangerous."