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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 January 2006, 19:10 GMT
Four cyclists killed in car crash
Police officers examine the fatal crash scene at near Abergele, north Wales
The road was closed while an investigation was carried out
Four cyclists including a 14-year-old boy have been killed after a driver lost control of his car on an icy north Wales road.

Thomas Harland, 14, Maurice Broadbent, 61, Dave Horrocks, 55, and Wayne Wilkes, 42, died when a car spun sideways into their path near Abergele.

Thomas' father, Jon, suffered a broken leg. The Sunday morning riders were in a group of 12 from Rhyl Cycling Club.

Police said a Toyota Corolla crashed on a bend. The driver had minor injuries.

There is nothing to suggest the driver did anything but lose control and on the face of it this seems to be a terrible accident
Chief Inspector Lyn Adams
The cyclists were said to be riding in fine weather, in pairs and wearing helmets, when they were struck by the car travelling in the opposite direction shortly after 1000 GMT on the A547 Rhuddlan Road.

According to the cycling club's website, its Sunday club was on a 60-mile trip between Great Orme and Llanrwst.

Mr Broadbent, from Rhuddlan, was the club's chairman, Mr Wilkes, from Rhyl, was a committee member and Thomas Harland, from Prestatyn, was the son of its press secretary. Mr Horrocks was from Abergele.

Chief Inspector Lyn Adams, from North Wales Police, said the driver appeared to have lost control on a gentle left-hand bend, striking a wall and rebounding into the road.

Police examine the scene of the crash near Abergele
All 12 riders in the group were members of a cycling club

He said: "The driver has lost control because of the ice on the road. There is no indication to suggest that this is down to something like excessive speed.

"Our best estimate at the moment is that the car is driving at something like 50 miles per hour. And on a road like this, that isn't excessive speed.

"Every road traffic collision is treated as a crime scene and tests have already been carried out.

"However there is nothing to suggest the driver did anything but lose control and on the face of it this seems to be a terrible accident."

He said that family liaison officers were with the families of the victims.

'Icy road'

According to the Met Office, conditions were dry and the overnight temperature had been -1.4C. However, it had rained overnight and local people said it had frozen hard.

Four other adult riders and three children in the cycling club group were also injured but in shock. The car driver was also said to be "clearly traumatised".

It is understood police were called to another accident on the same road an hour previously after a car lost control on the ice.

A cycle amid the wreckage at the scene of fatal crash in north Wales
The riders had just set out on a 60-mile Sunday morning trip

The fatal accident scene is near the junction with Gors Road and police said both roads were closed while investigations are carried out.

Scott Eccles, secretary of Rhyl Cycling Club, said Mr Broadbent, a qualified cycling coach, was married with a son and a daughter, Mr Wilkes had four children and Mr Horrocks was also a married father.

He said: "There was a car coming the other way. There was a kink in the road and it was icy.

"Apparently there had been an accident on the same stretch earlier.

"The car lost control, went up the grass verge, and then it came across the road and into them. They were dead straight away."

'Terrible news'

Mr Eccles said the section of road, which is generally straight but has one area with sharp bends, was known to be "dangerous".

In September last year, the A547 in the Abergele area was named among the 11 most deadly roads in north Wales by police.

Abergele councillor Richard Waters said: "Seeing cyclists on the road is quite a common sight here because it is a lovely area.

"It is a big shock hearing what has happened - it is terrible news, absolutely dreadful."




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