Probe after cyclists divert traffic from crash

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after cyclists were forced to divert traffic when police did not attend a crash in which three people were injured.

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after cyclists were forced to divert traffic when police did not attend a crash in which three people were injured.

Fellow riders were left to direct cars away from a crash on the road between Bury St Edmunds and Little Saxham after cyclists collided during a West Suffolk Wheelers and Triathlon Club ride on Monday.

Peter Stephenson-Wall, 23, of Philip Road, Bury, was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge by air ambulance with serious head injuries after the crash, and he remains in intensive care. Ron Fisher, 62, also from Bury, suffered two broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder in the pile-up, which took place during a ride to celebrate the opening of the group’s new headquarters in Bury that day.

Mr Fisher was taken to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury with fellow rider Richard Farrow, thought to be in his late 30s, who had a broken collar bone.

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The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAS) yesterday launched an investigation after Suffolk police were not informed of the crash after an initial 999 call was made at 11.55am.

Fellow cyclists were left to divert passing vehicles around the crash for an hour while paramedics treated the casualties.

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Barry Denny, the chairman of the cycling club, said all three riders had been wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

“We are not happy about this,” he said. “The police didn’t attend. Members had to re direct traffic. The road was closed for an hour and officers didn’t arrive at all.”

An EEAS spokeswoman said a member of the public dialled their control room at 11.55am.

But police were not told of the incident until 1.19pm.

“We have strict guidelines in place for our control room staff to automatically inform police of road traffic collisions,” the EEAS spokeswoman said.

“We are investigating why protocol was not followed on this isolated occasion and will be taking appropriate measures to address the issue.”

Mr Stephenson-Wall of Philip Road, Bury, remained in intensive care last night, having been left unconscious and bleeding from an airway after the collision.

A fellow cyclist described the accident, which happened as a group of around 18 riders were making their way into Bury, travelling at around 30 mph.

“There was a touch of wheels as the faster riders tried to squeeze in to make room for oncoming traffic,” the witness wrote on a forum site.

“From my position near the back of the group I heard a shout and clattering of bikes and saw Richard Farrow high in the air and other riders coming down at speed.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said the ambulance service had called officers at 1.19pm with details of the cycle collision.

“They did not request police attendance because they had completed their work at the scene, but wanted officers to be aware,” she said.

“Officers did carry out inquiries as a result of this call, including visiting the hospital, and it was determined that no further police action was required as no complaints of improper conduct by any cyclists were received and no motor vehicles were involved.”

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