A cyclist has agreed a £65,000 payout with the dog walker whose lead caused the rider to suffer life-changing injuries after he became entangled in it and was “propelled from his bike.”
The cyclist, 59-year-old Anthony Steele, was training with a group of fellow riders when a dog on a retractable lead caused him to crash and suffer the awful injuries.
The group were riding on a seafront path in Heysham, Lancashire in 2012 when the incident happened, with Mr Steele saying he had alerted a group of pedestrians in the middle of the promenade with his bell, before navigating round them.
That was when the dog, seemingly out of control, leapt in front of him and caused him to, as his lawyers stated, be “propelled from his bike.”
“The last thing I can remember before hitting the ground was seeing a small white dog dart across my path and noticing the thin black lead getting trapped in my wheels,” Mr Steele said.
He was then rushed to hospital, where the extent of his injuries were revealed to include fractured skull, bruised brain tissue, blood clots, fractured ribs and a fractured collarbone.
“I had no idea of the severity of my injuries suffered until I had come round in hospital and my wife, Lynne informed me of the skull fracture,” he said.
“The experience has left me with permanent hearing loss, dizziness, headaches, balancing issues and pain in my right shoulder.”
“I can’t quite believe that all of this has been caused by someone who could not control their dog or be aware of their surroundings.”
Mr Steele then spent three years tracking down the person responsible in an attempt to recoup some of the expenses of his rehabilitation.
He eventually found the person responsible, described as a “‘little old woman in her 70s” who was not the owner of the animal, and has successfully settled out of court for £65,000 before a hearing scheduled at Manchester County Court.
Dianne Yates, of firm Birchall Blackburn Law, which represented Mr Steele, said on the matter: “Retractable leads are popular because they don’t confine dogs, however some extend to 26 feet and being such a distance from their owners can prove hazardous for cyclists, joggers and children.
“Mr Steele’s injuries could have been averted if the owner was in control. Instead, this complete lack of awareness and restraint has had a major impact on Mr Steel’s life. His dizziness and poor balance has meant he has struggled to get back on his bike or play football for fear of further injury.”