A father of a 16-year-old cyclist from Birmingham has demanded justice and appealed for information about a hit-and-run driver who left his son "for dead", with the cyclist suffering a serious head injury and now struggling with memory loss and a speech impediment, with doctors suggesting that it will take up to two years for him to fully recover from his "severe brain trauma".
Harvey Aitken was cycling along Wharfdale Road, Tyseley, when he was struck by a car driver at around 11.35pm on 9 July. The teenager spent three weeks in hospital with a bleed on the brain.
Harvey's father, Andrew Aitken, has now agreed to release photos from his time in the hospital in a bid to seek justice.
He said: "Harvey has suffered a severe brain trauma as a result of this hit-and-run and we have been told it will take up to two years for him to fully recover.
"When I received the phone call at 3am that morning my heart sank, it is every parents’ worst nightmare. The whole family has been impacted by this incident, including Harvey's five siblings who were distressed to hear what had happened to their brother.
"We as his parents feared for his life and it has been such a battle for the family unit as a whole. I am appealing to anyone who saw or heard anything that night to please contact the police because the person responsible needs to be brought to justice. They left our 16-year-old son lying in the road for dead.
"Thankfully Harvey is a strong lad and a survivor but this incident has had a profound impact on his life."
West Midlands Police said that they are appealing for information and trying to identify one vehicle which they believe was involved and pulled up shortly afterwards. Shortly, another vehicle stops and appears to flash the driver of vehicle one. Both then drove off.
The police force said: "We'd urge the driver of vehicle one to do the right thing and come forward to explain exactly what happened. We'd also ask the driver of vehicle two to contact us as they may have vital information which can help us trace the car and who was behind the wheel."
"You can contact our traffic investigation unit via Live Chat on our website, or by calling 101, and quote log 4494 of 9 July. Road safety is a key issue for us; we know that by working together with local communities and partners we can make significant progress in creating safer roads."
Road safety in Birmingham has come under the spotlight in recent months, following seven hit-and-runs in less than a month, killing four cyclists, including a 12-year-old, with 15 campaign groups signing a letter to the council calling for an "end to road violence".
In June, hundreds of protestors lined up at Kings Heath to protest the increasingly dangerous state of roads. The busy junction in Birmingham was the spot where a young girl and a child were struck by a driver last week. It was also the spot where 13-year-old Hope Fenell was riding her bike when she was struck by an HGV driver in 2011. While the driver got a prison sentence of six months, Hope lost her life.
West Midlands' walking and cycling commissioner Adam Tranter also called for urgent action to "turn the tide on aggressive driving in Birmingham".
"Everyone should feel safe using our roads but through a combination of design, policy and enforcement priorities, this is not the case," he said. "We cannot accept this as normal."
Soon after, police in Birmingham responded by undertaking a day of action targeting dangerous driving, with more than 70 motorists stopped, including one allegedly watching a video on their phone behind the wheel.
Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.