A Masterton cyclist left paralysed and wondering if he was going to die after a car slammed in to him says he was blameless and hopes the driver has learned her lesson.
Zion Graham, 19, spoke out after people posted anti-cyclist comments on Facebook after the court case. He regained his movement and is still recovering from the November 30 crash but is so traumatised, he doesn't think he will ever get back on his bike again.
The driver of the car, Sophia Travers, 19, pleaded guilty to careless driving causing injury and was convicted when she appeared in the Masterton District Court on Monday.
Her defence blamed the incident on a momentary lapse in concentration, the fact it was night time and Mr Graham's "dark clothing".
But Mr Graham said he was "lit up like a Christmas tree" as he cycled home from work in his uniform, close to the kerb.
"I wasn't drinking, I had a helmet, lights, reflectors."
Mr Graham had clocked off work at his hospitality job at the Copthorne Solway around 1.30am and had begun cycling home along High St. "I could sense something behind me and being that late at night I am aware. I turned around and all I could see were two headlights."
In "zero point one of a second" the car had hit him, his bike had gone out from under him and he had gone backwards.
"I landed on the car and then smacked into the ground. The force was so hard the bike had been thrown to the corner of Judds Rd."
He was in excruciating pain and shock. "I couldn't move. I was thinking, 'Why can't I move? ... Am I going to die? What's going to happen'?"
He was thankful, however, Travers had stayed with him until an ambulance arrived.
The impact had mangled the bike and left him with a dislocated hip, internal bruising and a lung contusion, although doctors thought the lung contusion may have already been there.
A fragment of his hip bone was also chipped off.
He was taken to Wairarapa Hospital and had surgery to have his hip put back in place.
"The police said the helmet saved my life. If I hadn't been wearing it I don't think I would be alive today.
"I'm thankful it wasn't more serious than it was. It could have been worse. I'm very lucky."
He had spent four days in hospital and has been off work for six weeks.
Comments on a Times-Age article, which reported the court proceedings, had upset Mr Graham and his family.
"After the shock and pain that I've gone through ... it's frustrating. It hurts when people assume it's the cyclist's fault.
"Just because some of them are bad, doesn't mean we are all like that."
He hoped Travers had learned her lesson. "I know it was an accident but I've lost income because of this. How could you not have seen me? Concentrate when you're driving. Be a bit more aware."
Travers was fined $358 for damages to the bike and ordered to pay $1000 for emotional harm caused. She was also disqualified from driving for six months.
Mr Graham said he still experienced shocks in his leg and wasn't sure how he would get to work any more. "I'm very traumatised. I don't ever want to get back on the bike, especially working hospo you work late nights. I hope to go back to work and get on with my life."