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Cyclists ‘lucky to be alive’ after hit-and-run horror

Glenda Mitchell gets treated by paramedics as Helen Hannigan comforts her after they were both hit by a car near Beragh last week.

Glenda Mitchell gets treated by paramedics as Helen Hannigan comforts her after they were both hit by a car near Beragh last week.

TWO local cyclists have described the horror of being “left for dead” by a motorist who struck them before speeding off.

Glenda Mitchell and Helen Hannigan were hit from behind by a blue car in Beragh on Saturday August 3 at about 4pm.

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While Helen was knocked into a ditch, Glenda was catapulted into the air and crashed into the tarmac on the middle of the Moylagh Road just on the outskirts of the village.

The Omagh women say they are lucky to be alive and are thankful to have only suffered severe cuts, bruising, stiffness and concussion.

Glenda said she would have been killed but for her cycle helmet which took the brunt of the impact when she landed on the hard tarmac.

With only vague memories of what exactly happened, Helen said she recalled crawling out of the ditch and hearing the loud revs of a car taking off.

LEFT LYING ON ROAD

Recuperating at home at the weekend, both women told the Ulster Herald they want to know the reason why someone could have such disregard for their lives and then drive off leaving them lying injured on the road.

“It is hard to think that someone could have such little concern or respect for our well-being that they could just drive off and leave us lying there,” said Glenda.

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“I don’t really remember much about what happened, just waking up in the middle of the road. The back of my helmet is shattered as it took the brunt of the impact as I landed.

“Without it I would probably be dead now.

“A motorist coming in the other direction said he saw a body being thrown high into the air and carried up the road.

“I would stop if I hit an animal on the road. To leave two people for dead like this has made us so angry.

“We want to know the reason why the person could have such little respect for our lives.”

‘CATAPULTED’

Cyclists Glenda Mitchell and Helen Hannigan who were involved in a hit and run collision on the Moylagh Road in Beragh last Saturday. The cyclists say their helmets saved their lives and urge the driver responsible to do the right thing and come forward.

Cyclists Glenda Mitchell and Helen Hannigan who were involved in a hit and run collision on the Moylagh Road in Beragh last Saturday. The cyclists say their helmets saved their lives and urge the driver responsible to do the right thing and come forward.

While Glenda was thrown up the road, Helen was “catapulted” from her bike into a ditch, both ending up about 50 feet apart.

The back wheels of both cycles are completely buckled from the impact of the car colliding into them from behind.

“We would always cycle side-by-side but if a car came along we would go single file to avoid holding traffic up,” said Helen.

“The collision happened so fast – I just remember being thrown into the air and then somersaulting into the bottom of the ditch.

“As I tried to pull myself out of the grass I heard the noise of a car revving and taking off into the distance. Glenda was lying further up the road. We are both so lucky not to come out with broken bones and the helmets certainly saved us from even more serious injuries.

“Motorists need to realise that the repercussions of their impatience could cost lives.”

DETERMINED

Having enjoyed cycling for the past few months, both Glenda and Helen said they are determined to get back in the saddle when their injuries heal and their cycles are repaired.

Four young males were arrested in connection with the incident but have all since been released on bail pending further enquiries.

A small blue vehicle was involved. The driver did not stop and it is understood the vehicle may have damage to its bumpers.

Police continue to appeal for the driver of the car to contact them.

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Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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