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Cyclist recounts crash


Sean Woollgar’s femur was shattered when he got knocked off his bike by a car in Carterton on Friday, pictured with his partner Alex Williamson, who is a midwife at Wairarapa Hospital.  PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER



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Sean Woollgar lay on the kerb, looked down at his leg and knew it was not right.

It was completely mangled.

He had been knocked off his bike by a vehicle, which had followed him for about 500 metres through Carterton.

He says the driver of the car had shouted at and tailgated him, before the car mounted the pavement and crashed into him.

Now in Wairarapa Hospital with a shattered femur and a post-surgery scar spanning 37cm from his knee to his hip, Mr Woollgar wants to meet with the driver to say he is forgiven.

Mr Woollgar, a Carterton-based film editor, wants to “establish some sort of human connection” with the driver in the hope that seeing his injuries could have a positive effect on his future behaviour.

“If I can say I’ve forgiven you, but this is the consequence of your actions . . . perhaps that could help him.”

Mr Woollgar, 55, said he had been cycling home from the supermarket on Friday evening when he saw a car behind him.

“It started tooting and I turned and said, ‘Hey, what’s up?’.

The next thing he knew, the vehicle was driving alongside him “really close”.

“At that point I got a bit angry, and I went up onto the pavement and swore.”

He said the vehicle followed him along Pembroke St and onto Garrison St and then onto Victoria St.

“I just started cycling as fast as I could,” said Mr Woollgar, who estimated he was going about 40kmh.

He said soon after he was struck by the vehicle while cycling on the footpath.

“I didn’t know what was going on, but I tried to get my phone out of my pocket.

“Then I saw my leg and it was in a crazy unnatural angle, so I tried to straighten it and it just flopped like jelly, there was just no connection with my body.”

Mr Woollgar said the driver then got out of the car and approached, asking him if he was all right.

“And I went, ‘No dude, you’ve broken my leg’.”

The man got back in his vehicle and drove off, as Mr Woollgar took photos of the car with his phone.

Mr Woollgar is adamant the incident, which was witnessed by others, was unprovoked.

He said he had never seen the man before.

The police and ambulance turned up soon after the crash at about 7.15pm.

A keen cyclist and gym-goer, Mr Woollgar said he can now look forward to 15-weeks on crutches.

The incident seemed surreal, he said from his hospital bed yesterday.

Mr Woollgar was looking forward to being discharged from hospital, hopefully today.

He wished to thank the emergency services, witnesses, and hospital staff, all of whom had shown him great support.

Senior Sergeant Mike Sutton said a 22-year-old Carterton man had been arrested, with charges expected later this week.




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