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Cyclist who chased Westminster terror suspect: "You have a cup of tea and biscuit and carry on"

Robert Nicholson gives eyewitness account of moment driver ploughed through group of cyclists yesterday morning

A cyclist who chased after the Westminster terror suspect yesterday morning said, “You have a cup of tea and a biscuit and carry on” when he was asked his reaction to the incident.

29-year-old Salih Khater, who has been arrested on suspicion of terror offences, drove through a group of cyclists at Parliament Square before crashing into a barrier outside the Palace of Westminster.

> Updated: Cyclists injured in Westminster terror attack as driver crashes through them

Three cyclists were injured in the incident, with one treated at the scene and the other two taken to hospital and subsequently released.

Cyclist Robert Nicholson, who was on his way to work, witnessed what happened and chased after the car after it hit the group of cyclists.

Yesterday, he told Sky News: "Usually you get anything from 10 to 30 cyclists waiting – there were about 15 cyclists there this morning.

"You could kind of see just round the corner of Big Ben there was an ambulance with its lights on and siren blaring.

"All of a sudden, whipping round the corner – just from the traffic lights – was this small Ford Focus-type car and just rammed straight through the group of 10 to 15 cyclists that were stood there (and) probably hit the lady cyclists a couple of foot to my right."

At first he believed it was a road traffic collision or perhaps a motorist being pursued by the police.

He said: "My immediate reaction was I wasn't hit on the bike so I jumped off my bike and ran after him.

"He [the driver] obviously carried on, swerved into the lane for the Houses of Parliament, crashed into the barrier.

"And at that point, when armed police yelled 'clear out, get out the way' I realised it was a little more serious."

TV footage showed Mr Nicholson running after the car, and police officers at the barrier jumping out of the way of it.

"The police officers at the barrier were obviously quite shocked at that sort of sudden impact but very quickly responded," Mr Nicholson continued.

He said that one  cyclist was left lying in the street after she had been struck "full on by the car directly. She'd kind of flown up onto the bonnet.

"Very luckily she had a helmet on, so that probably reduced any head injuries she had.

"She was lying stationary in the middle of the road.

"Very luckily because there was an ambulance just behind them, paramedics were there within seconds and able to respond to her."

Asked how the incident had affected him, he said he had already put it to one side.

"As a cyclist you probably get a little bit used to that anyway, of just the odd near miss and stuff like that happening in London,” he explained.

"And, also being English, you have a cup of tea and a biscuit and you carry on the next day,” he added.

"I'll just carry on cycling in, carry on walking in. I hope the other cyclists recover quickly and they start cycling in again."

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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