Young cyclist slams into truck

By Amy McGillivray

A Gate Pa woman watched in horror as a young cyclist slammed into the side of a small truck leaving him unconscious and with serious head injuries.

Tamworth Pl resident Jodie Carmichael was feeding her son when she saw the 18-year-old - who was not wearing a helmet - hurtle down the road and into the path of a Toyota Toyoace on Tom Muir Dr, Gate Pa.

She called an ambulance and rushed to his aid as he lay on the street.

"He didn't know who he was, where he was. He was in and out of consciousness. He'd try to move and just go out," she said.

Tauranga St John operations team leader Ross Clark said the teenager was treated by ambulance staff at the scene and taken to hospital in a serious condition.

Mr Clark said he was not alert but not completely unconscious and had a cut to his head just above one eye when emergency services arrived about 12.30pm yesterday.

Truck driver Lance Rangitawa had just rounded a blind corner on Tom Muir Drive when he heard a loud bang as the cyclist smashed into the passenger's side door.

The impact left a large dent and broke the truck's headlights.

"He was just on the wrong side of the road and I had nowhere to go," he said. "He hit me full force."

Mr Rangitawa lived nearby and said he regularly saw young people rocketing down the road, narrowly avoiding cars.

"This happens all the time about three times a day. They are just taking a risk, taking a chance, hoping there are no cars coming around the corner. There were no brakes on his bike. No helmet, no nothing," he said.

Mrs Carmichael and her husband Ryan said the intersection was an accident waiting to happen.

They had only lived in their house for about 18 months but the previous owner warned them about children riding down Tamworth Pl.

Every weekend a group of children lined up at the top of the road and rode straight down across Tom Muir Dr and onto the other side, Mr Carmichael said.

Drivers did not reduce the risk either with some rounding the corner just before Tamworth Pl at 100km/h, he said.

"I've been waiting for it," he said. "You just watch the kids coming down the hill and it puts a big lump in your throat."

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, agreed an accident was bound to happen at the intersection at some point.

Constable Ian Sadler confirmed the cyclist had not been wearing a helmet when he rode into the path of the truck.

The investigation into the crash was ongoing, he said.

A Tauranga Hospital spokesperson said the 18-year-old was in a stable condition and remained in hospital overnight for observation.

He was likely to be discharged this morning.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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