A “hit-and-run” cyclist who moved down a three-year-old and dragged her screaming 12ft along the pavement outside her home has been branded the “most callous cyclist in Britain.”
CCTV footage from the scene on Monday afternoon in Blackpool, shows little Lucie Wilding running happily out of her front gate onto the pavement a split second before a blonde-haired rider in a luminous orange jacket crashes into the three-year-old and sends her hurtling through the air.
Horrifyingly, the toddler is then caught up in the pedals and dragged face-down along the street by the cyclist.
Lucie’ mother, Lauren Howarth, 26, can be seen opening the car door for her daughter just before the cyclist strikes. Upon hearing her child’s scream the frantic mom immediately turns around and runs after the fleeing cyclist and her terrified child.
Seconds later, Lucie’s father Matt leaps over the garden wall and cradles his blood-soaked and crumpled daughter in his arms.
As Lauren explained to the Daily Mail, she initially feared the worse.
“One minute she was behind me and the next she was further along the street, sprawled across the pavement. I thought she was dead. There was blood coming from everywhere. She was hysterical, screaming at the top of her lungs.
“I had to check she still had arms and legs because the speed she was taken was so quick and she’d just been flattened by this bike.”
After crashing into Lucie, the cyclist also fell off his bike, but incredibly the cyclist allegedly blamed the toddler for the accident, before “hurling abuse” at the parents and fleeing the scene.
Misss howarth explained she was bitterly upset that the cyclist didn’t even make an effort to check if Lucie was alright before he rode off.
“He was on the floor with his head on the pavement. I was expecting him to say “I’m so sorry, is everyone okay” or something like that but there was nothing. I thought she was dead. There was blood coming from everywhere. She was hysterical, screaming at the top of her lungs
“As soon as he got up he started swearing at us, as if it was Lucie’s fault that he had hit her. The next thing we knew he’d gone and we’ve not heard from him since. I know it would have been a shock for him but it would have been nice for him to put a note through the door to check how she is. For all he knew, she could be dead.”
Although Lucie will make a full recovery from her physical injuries, her parents feel the mental wounds caused by such an incident will take a long time to heal.
“For a three-year-old to go through something like that is a big thing. She’s now very nervous of bikes, and we’ve had to tell her that daddy has got rid of the bike to make her feel better. But she won’t walk across the pavement to the car at the moment, we have to carry her, because she’s scared of being hit. She’s been really brave though, we’re really proud of her.”
Fortunately, Miss Howarth took a picture of the cyclist on her mobile phone and after it was posted on social media and shared hundreds of times, the cyclist, thought to be in his 20s has contacted the police and is due to talk to officers in connection with the incident.
Lancashire Police’s Joanna Mills said in a statement.
“There are a number of offences that will be discussed with this man – riding on pavements and dangerous cycling. For a three-year-old this isn’t a pleasant experience when you’re just walking from your home to your car. Lucie is lucky she’s escaped with only scrapes and bruises. It could have been a lot worse.”
For Miss Howarth, the incident has highlighted that bicycles can be just us dangerous as cars in certain circumstances.
“I would never have walked out of our house before and looked left and right as if I’m crossing a road. It’s a pavement so you’re just aware if there’s people walking about but you never expect something like this to happen right outside your home.
“The speed he was going on that bike in a residential area with young children around is dangerous and this happened to Lucie out of nowhere. People need to be aware that cyclists can be dangerous drivers too.”
(Image Via Daily Mail)