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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 January 2006, 15:15 GMT
Cycling crash survivor's 'hell'
Mel Royles, who survived the cycle crash

One of the survivors of an accident which killed four fellow cyclists has been speaking about what happened.

Mel Royles was in a group of 12 members of Rhyl Cycling Club out near Abergele, north Wales at 1000 GMT on Sunday.

As they headed along the A547 Rhuddlan Road, he recalled the "hell" as a car skidded on ice and crashed into them.

Maurice Broadbent, 61, from Rhuddlan, Dave Horrocks, 55, from Llanerch, Wayne Wilkes, 42, of Rhyl and Thomas Harland, 14, from Prestatyn, were killed.

Speaking to BBC Wales on Tuesday, Mr Royles described the "hell" and "carnage" which unfolded shortly after they set off on a 60-mile round trip to Great Orme.

The accident was the "worst second of my life. That's all it took, one second," he added.

"What do you do? You just kick into action, don't you? The adrenalin was pumping. I just took charge. I took control."

On Monday, it has emerged a request was made for a road to be gritted before the accident between Rhuddlan and Abergele.

Conwy Council said it was examining its procedures.

Thomas Harland; Wayne Wilkes; Maurice Broadbent; Dave Horrocks

The authority said the road where the accident happened was on its "priority list" for treatment in bad weather, and it had been gritted at around 1820 GMT on Saturday night, as well as three days before that.

North East Wales Coroner John Hughes opened and adjourned inquests into the deaths later on Tuesday, pending a full police investigation.

Meanwhile, there has been criticism from Conwy councillor for Towyn, Darren Millar, who said he wanted answers as to why such a main road was in such poor condition.

"This road appeared to me and other members of the public to be the same as those road surfaces that had not been treated by gritting," he said.

"The council released a statement saying the road was gritted about 1820 GMT on Saturday evening. Clearly, the road surfaces were unacceptable and perhaps a second gritting should have taken place."

A cycle amid the wreckage at the scene of fatal crash in north Wales
We don't accept that this was an accident. This was an incident that could have avoided.
British Cycling chief executive Peter King

Police said there was a minor accident at the same spot about an hour before the fatal collision and that they made a request for the council to re-grit the road.

They described the deaths of the four cyclists as a "tragic accident" and said there was "no indication to suggest that this is down to something like excessive speed".

But speaking on BBC Radio Wales on Tuesday, Peter King, chief executive of British Cycling said: "We don't accept that this was an accident. This was an incident that could have avoided.

"It was quite clear that a car left the road in a way patently that it should not have done.

Olympic cyclist Nicole Cooke, who has been practising on the roads since she was 12, said she was "absolutely devastated" about the accident and said drivers should be better educated on road conditions.

She said: "I know from cycling to school since I was twelve on a bike. I really know the difference between driving conditions and how it affects a bike."


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See where the accident happened



SEE ALSO:
Four cyclists killed in car crash
08 Jan 06 |  North West Wales


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