The cyclist hit by Southampton striker Charlie Austin has been issued with a fixed penalty notice for riding through an amber light. Austin, who hit the man as he set off from traffic lights in October, has admitted driving without due care and attention and now has the option of attending a driver awareness course or court.
In a statement last week, Austin said that in late October 2016, he had been driving in Southampton city centre and had stopped at traffic lights at a junction. He said he moved forward when the lights turned green and it was at that point that a cyclist came across his path.
The Daily Echo reports that the cyclist involved was Anthony Grey, who subsequently underwent a five-hour operation to have a metal plate inserted in his damaged spine.
Grey cannot remember anything about the incident and wants to meet Austin to find out what happened.
Austin was reported to have stopped his Bentley to attend to Grey, who was then taken to hospital. “I would like to thank him if nothing else,” said Grey. “I just want to understand how it all happened. I know where I was going and doing but something went horribly wrong.”
Grey had bought the bike the day before the incident and said he had not ridden for years. Friends told him he had left work and gone home to collect some things before setting off on the bike for a friend’s house in Shirley.
“The last thing I remember is leaving work at 4.30pm and the incident was at 5.30pm. I remember coming around and a police officer giving me my rucksack cut in half.
“It was excruciating. I could not move my legs or my upper body at all. I had to wear a neck collar and body brace. The surgeons have fixed it though and have done an incredible job... I should be in a wheelchair but I am not.”
He also said that he would never ride a bicycle in Southampton again.
“It is just not safe to cycle in Southampton. Cyclists don’t belong on the path with pedestrians and they don’t belong on the roads where everything is just moving too fast.
“Some cyclists just don’t pay respect to the road... I have always said people should wear safely gear and if they do something wrong while cycling on the road they could be held accountable – police gave me a ticket for running an amber light – this is maybe why I was hit I don’t know.”