Page last updated at 17:52 GMT, Tuesday, 10 January 2006

Crash cyclist's 'worst second'

Mel Royles, who survived the cycle crash
Mel Royles does not blame anyone for the accident

Mel Royles had just embarked on a 60-mile round trip with fellow members of Rhyl Cycling Club at around 1000 GMT on Sunday.

What happened soon after, he describes as the "worst second of his life".

"It was just carnage. I saw two friends go over the wall, the boy go down and I'd got Maurice Broadbent at my feet a few metres away," he said.

A car travelling in the opposite direction along the A547 Rhuddlan Road, skidded on ice and crashed into them.

All 12 riders were injured and four were killed - Maurice Broadbent, 61, of Rhuddlan, Dave Horrocks, 55, of Llanerch, Wayne Wilkes, 42, of Rhyl and Thomas Harland, 14, from Prestatyn.

He was a star lad Tom. I covered him over and immediately I thought 'I've got other young boys with us'
Mel Royles

Thomas Harland's death was witnessed by his father Jon and the son of Wayne Wilkes was also on the training ride which took his parent's life.

Speaking for the first time about his experience, Mr Royles said: "I looked at Maurice, I saw Jon go over to his son, I wasn't aware that Jon at the time was injured. I took my jacket off and covered the young boy," recalled Mr Royles.

"He was a star lad Tom. I covered him over and immediately I thought 'I've got other young boys with us', so I got the two youngest together."

Mr Royles said he had been haunted by the accident and there are some things he witnessed which he will never repeat. However, he said he did not blame anyone for the tragedy.

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

Speaking about the driver, Mr Royles said he has "got a memory in his head for the rest of his life. I feel for him".

It has since emerged that police made a request to have the road gritted an hour before the accident after an earlier collision. It had been gritted at around 1820 GMT on Saturday night, as well as three days before that.

However, Mr Royles said he does not blame Conwy Council.

"Those lads might've been out," he said. "I understand the police called them an hour earlier but they might have been out gritting all night. You can understand that it's going to take a while for the council to organise themselves and get back out."

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

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