Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Young cyclist suffers brain damage after being struck by driver and landing on another car

Doctors told the 20-year-old's family it was 'the worst brain injury' they had ever seen...

A cyclist suffered 'life changing' brain damage after being knocked down by a motorist and landing on the bonnet of another car. 

Tom Harris, from Bristol, spent five days in a medically induced coma after the collision.

The Bristol Post report that doctors told the 20-year-old’s family he had a 10 per cent chance of survival and was living 'minute to minute' with 'the worst brain injury they had ever seen'.

He has since woken but is struggling to form words and his family have now launched a fundraising page to help support his recovery. 

So far they have raised nearly £3,500. 

His dad, Rich, 47, described Tom as a 'very sociable cheeky chappie' who was cycling to a job interview when the crash happened.

The family say they have been told that Tom had been riding on his bike, crossing the  A4174 on March 9, a six-lane dual carriageway, when a car hit him.

They have raised questions and concerns about the layout of the junction which has been subject to an 'experimental' traffic order.

The force of the collision threw Tom onto the bonnet of the car behind, and then onto a third car, says Rich.

Rich said when police turned up at the family’s home, they told him: “Your son probably won’t make it.”

He added: “We didn’t know what we were doing. We were trying to ring up family. It was frightening.

“By the time we got to Southmead Hospital, the critical care team had sedated and anaesthetised him.

"He was in a medically induced coma for five days before the ventilation tube came out and they lowered the sedation.

“The doctor told us there was a 10 per cent chance he would survive. My wife went in and saw him, gave him a kiss.

“I didn’t want to go in. I said to the doctors he would wake up. I knew him. I just knew. They said it might not happen, but I told them, ‘No, it will.’"

> Driver arrested after sister of Olympic cyclist injured in collision

Tom had an operation to release the pressure on his brain, which has now subsided.

Rich continued: “He’s definitely going to have brain damage, and damage to the left side of his body."

Thomas has four brothers and two sisters, but his family have not visited him in hospital due to Covid regulations, other than the visit his parents made on the day of the crash.

He added: “He remembers how to use colourful language. There is hope. The use of his body he has still got, apart from his left hand side which is a bit slower. His speech is really slow."

Rich says a fellow Bristol Rovers fan who witnessed the crash described it has 'the most horrific thing he’d ever seen in his life'.

The extent of the long-term damage is still unknown, though it will certainly be life-changing. 

Rich added: “Tom’s a family person. He loves Christmas and all that. He loves going to the football home and away. He has a lot of friends – he’s the life and soul, always happy and laughing.”

In August 2019, South Gloucestershire Council restricted movement of motorists at the Hambrook traffic lights in a bid to improve air quality.

The changes also saw a bus lane removed for a third lane of traffic – the lane Rich says his son was hit on.

Rich questioned why the 18-month trial was still ongoing when the collision took place, having been scheduled to end the previous month.

He believes the crash may not have happened if the changes had been reversed.

A council spokesman said: “We were saddened to hear of this serious incident on the A4174 and our thoughts are with the individual involved. We are aware that a police investigation is currently in progress and we will review their findings fully once they have been shared with us.

“We were required by Government to implement an Experimental Traffic Order at Hambrook traffic lights on the A4174 to improve air quality in the area.

“Since then, our monitoring data of NO2 levels has been significantly impacted due to Covid-19 restrictions resulting in less traffic on our roads. Because of this we are seeking guidance from the Joint Air Quality Unit as to the way forward with the scheme.”

Rich said police have told the family a criminal investigation into the crash is underway.

Latest Comments