AN Omagh cyclist is lucky to have escaped serious injury after being hit by a car on Thursday.
The incident happened shortly before 2pm. Police confirmed they received a report of an RTC involving a car and a cyclist on the Kevlin Road, Omagh.
The cyclist, Chris Withers, was taken to hospital to be checked over.
It is understood the driver of the vehicle was a male pupil from a nearby secondary school.
On behalf of her father who is an experienced cyclist, Rachael Withers posted a picture of the harrowing crash scene on Facebook in an attempt to urge motorists to be vigilant when driving near or overtaking cyclists.
She wrote, “On behalf of my dad, a big thank you to Paul Warriner for helping him out today!
“Also a request by my dad is to show this picture to make drivers aware of cyclists and how waiting ten seconds can be the difference of knocking someone down or losing ten seconds of your day! Please drivers be aware of us, we have no horns to toot, we have no lights to flash at you and we certainly don’t have the shield of a car as a layer of protection!”
West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff was on the scene a few minutes after the incident.
Adding to Rachael’s appeal, Mr McElduff said it was shocking to see the cyclist lying on the road as paramedics came to treat him. Mr McElduff also took the opportunity to praise those who came to Mr Withers’ aid at the scene.
Meanwhile, a pedestrian was also injured after being hit by a car on this same stretch of the Kevlin Road last Tuesday. Police confirmed a parked car rolled forward into a pedestrian in New Brighton Terrace causing the man minor injuries.
Mr McElduff believes a review of traffic management is now needed in this heavily congested area of Omagh.
“We had the tragedy of a female pedestrian dying as a result of injuries sustained following an accident in nearby James Street in early January and it is fortunate we are not talking about another tragedy in this busy area of Omagh,” said Mr McElduff.
“I personally came across the scene on Thursday afternoon where I spoke to the gentleman’s wife Rita and I rang the family again the following day. It was very distressing for all concerned, especially Chris’s family. A large crowd of residents and school pupils also watched on helplessly. The road safety message needs to go out from this – especially the need to respect cyclists on the roads,” he continued.
“This Kevlin Road, Gallows Hill and James Street junctions are extremely busy with thousands of people and motorists on the move everyday in this small footprint of the town.
“There has been a lot of accidents lately in this area and residents speaking to me at the scene spoke about a worsening situation that needs addressed. There needs to be a major review by DoE and Transport NI into road safety and parking practice in this area.”