The family of a cyclist left with life-changing brain injuries have appealed for better road safety measures.
Ali Collier, 38, was left fighting for her life after she was involved in a crash with the driver of an SUV in south London last summer.
Following the incident, which happened on the A23 Streatham High Road in June 2020, Ali spent months in hospital after suffering catastrophic brain injuries, which continue to impact her daily life.
Now Ali’s family have spoken out for the first time, calling for road safety improvements and asking anyone who may have witnessed the crash to come forward after police said the driver had no case to answer.
Ali’s dad Clive Collier said: “The whole incident happened in just a few moments but has dramatically changed Ali’s life, probably forever.
“Beforehand she was really fit and healthy and was really independent. She loved going out with her friends and was really sociable.
“But now that has all changed. It’s horrible to see how Ali has gone from leading such a busy and independent life to being reliant on others.
“We can’t thank people enough for everything they‘ve done to help and support Ali following the collision but sometimes it’s hard not to get upset about how her life has changed.
“Getting her back home to her family would be a major boost but we know Ali is going to need ongoing help and support to be able to do so.
“All our family would be so grateful if anyone had any information about the collision which will allow Ali to receive that help. We know Ali would be immensely grateful as well.”
The crash happened at around 9pm on June 25, 2020 at the junction of Streatham High Road and Telford Avenue, when Ali was involved in a crash with the driver of a silver VW Tiguan SUV.
After she was taken to Kings College Hospital where she received life-saving care, Ali spent four months in hospital before she was transferred to the Blackheath Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre, where she remained for a further six months,
Ali is now at a specialist rehabilitation centre to continue her recovery.
Her family art now particularly keen to speak to the driver of a silver Toyota Prius present at the scene, which was potentially an Uber or taxi. A passenger of that car got out to help Ali in the aftermath of the crash.
Ali is represented by law firm Irwin Mitchell in the hopes of securing access to specialist care and rehabilitation.
Senior associate solicitor Angel Batchelor said: “Ali and her family have faced an incredibly difficult period trying to come to terms with the devastating life-changing injuries suffered.
“The emergency services, hospital staff and rehabilitation teams have done a fantastic job in helping Ali. Whilst she is defying the odds, she still faces a battle to rebuild her life.
“Therefore we are appealing for anyone who may have more information or footage of the collision, the moments leading up to it or its aftermath, to get in touch.
“Any detail could be key in helping us secure the ongoing rehabilitation and support Ali needs to overcome her injuries the best she can.
“We also welcome plans to improve safety for all road users on this major route and hope the work can be completed as soon as practical.”
Ali, one of six siblings, previously enjoyed running, cycling and working out before the crash, spending time travelling and volunteering in Greece to support refugees.
But now she struggles with the after-effects of the crash, including difficulty with her memory, concentrating and mobility.
She has been able to regain some of her speech, start eating food again, and is starting to walk independently.
Anyone with information about the collision should contact Angela Batchelor at Irwin Mitchell on 0207 421 3915 or email email@example.com
Earlier this year, Transport for London announced new segregated cycle lanes, pedestrian crossing and reduced speed limits on the A23, along with changes to side road access.
Ali’s dad Clive added: “The Covid-19 pandemic has changed how everyone gets about. While it’s too late for Ali these changes are vital.
“Anything that allows cyclists, pedestrians and drivers to be safer on the roads has got to be welcome.”
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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