Austin Finley suffered 'life-changing injuries' in incident in May 2016
A cyclist from Derby has told a court about the horrific moment he was run over by a driver, before spending 20 minutes trapped under the car with the full weight of the vehicle on his chest.
Austin Finley was riding his bike along Derby Road in Sandiacre, Derbyshire in May 2016 when he was knocked off by 82-year-old Gilroy Tennant.
According to the Nottingham Post, Derby Crown Court heard how Mr Finley hit the bonnet of the car before falling to the road injured, laying helplessly in the road as Mr Tennant continued to drive towards him.
“He watched in horror as the defendant’s car continued to drive very slowly towards him at about 3mph,” prosecutor Sarah Allen told the court.
“The defendant proceeded to drive over him, his front wheels went up onto his torso and he was terrified that he would drive over him with the rear wheels too.
“The defendant did eventually stop and came to a rest with Mr Finley’s head just under the driver’s door with the weight of the car on him.”
Mr Finley, who suffered a collapsed lung, internal bleeding, 11 broken ribs, and a broken collarbone in the incident, was trapped under the car for 20 minutes as firefighters attempted to free him.
In a victim impact statement, Mr Finley told the court about his horrifying experience, saying that the “pure luck” was the only thing that prevented him being killed.
“As I lay in the road I watched as the car approached me very slowly. He must’ve seen me – I was on the bonnet moments before,” the statement read.
“What happened next was the most harrowing experience I’ve ever witnessed. I was left trapped under the vehicle with the weight of it crushing my chest for 20 minutes – it was extremely traumatic.
“I didn’t know whether I was going to die or not and if it wasn’t for the excellence of the emergency services it could have been fatal.
“This has caused severe and long-lasting anguish for me and my family.
“My wife was brought to hospital not knowing whether I was alive or not and my son travelled back from university in Wales not knowing whether he would see his dad alive. My mum was very ill and passed away soon after the incident.
“The driver of the car showed no remorse. He could’ve stopped his car. The fact that I was not killed at the scene was down to pure luck.
“If the car was another inch higher it would have crushed my neck, and six inches higher my head.”
Mr Tennant pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and was given an eight month prison sentence suspended for 12 months, and was banned from driving for eight years.