One minute Trevor Simmons was cycling along the New England Highway, as he’d done “hundreds of times” before.
The next, he was lying unconscious in a drain at the bottom of an embankment by the roadside – the victim of an apparent hit and run – his carbon fibre bike snapped in three places, his hip fractured and patches of skin missing from all over his body.
The 65-year-old can’t remember what happened after a vehicle hit the back of his ride at Tarro just before 9am on October 9. But it was more than an hour before he was discovered by passers-by, who called an ambulance to take him to John Hunter Hospital.
More than a week after he suffered the extensive injuries, the Chisholm man doesn’t even know what type of vehicle collected him from behind. His family has taken to social media seeking witnesses to help piece together what happened.
“When the back wheel folded up from the impact, the vehicle hit me in the rear end – that’s probably what caused the fracture to my left hip socket,” Mr Simmons told Fairfax Media.
“Huge amount of skin lost off my backside, now major bruising is coming out, skin off both shoulders, skin off both elbows, lacerations to the face. [The crash] smashed my glasses, smashed my helmet, chipped my front teeth.
“To snap three members of that bike completely in half, it’s hit with a lot of force.
“I’ve never been beaten up in a fight but ‘pummelled’ is the word I’d use for how I feel.”
The incident has been reported to police, but Mr Simmons said on Wednesday he was yet to be interviewed.
A NSW Police spokesperson said officers were seeking witnesses and the investigation was ongoing.
“I’m thinking someone may think ‘yeah I saw a truck or a vehicle in the bike lane at that time, I wonder if that’s related’,” Mr Simmons said.
“It is really hard to come to terms with the fact that no-one saw it.”
The grandfather of six is a cyclist with more than 50 years of experience. He’d not long started a loop from his Chisholm home, headed for Hexham, Raymond Terrace and Duckenfield, when the crash took place near Palm Valley Motel.
“I’m unconscious and I must have come-to at some stage and someone passing by saw me move or saw an arm or leg or something in the air,” he said.
“We think she was an intern from Maitland Hospital. As she was stopping and coming back, a truck driver for Caltex stopped to help.”
Mr Simmons spent two and a half days in hospital for treatment to his various injuries, which also included a severe concussion and a haematoma between the skin on his head and his skull. But he had to briefly return to hospital on Saturday because his condition deteriorated.
“No matter how I rationalise how it happened I can’t imagine why anyone would walk away from it,” he said.
In news today October 18, 2018:
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