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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 June 2007, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
Talking helps cycle survivor cope
Mel Royles
Mr Royles said talking helped him get it "off my chest"
The tragic memories of 8 January, 2006, will stay with Rhyl Cycling Club chairman Mel Royles forever.

Mr Royles was injured in the collision and saw his colleagues mown down by a car in what he later described as the "worst second of his life".

He says talking about the tragedy helps, adding that the club still receives support from around the globe.

"People talk to me about it all the time and they apologise to me when they talk about the accident," he said.

"I'm happier talking about it than sitting on my own thinking about it.

Accident scene
Mel Royles described the scene as 'carnage'

"It's like getting it off your chest. Every time I speak to somebody I get a little bit more off my chest.

"It won't go away but I'm aware of it and people are obviously aware that I was involved and other members were involved on the day.

"There's a lot of sympathy there and a lot of support throughout the cycling world.

"All over the world we are known, so to speak, obviously for the wrong reasons... I'm just doing my best to sort of keep everything afloat."

Training ride

Mr Royles paid tribute to the "pedigree" of the cyclists, and their legacy.

He was among the group of cyclists when they were struck by a car, driven by Robert Harris, which had skidded on ice.

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.

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.

The driver has got a memory in his head for the rest of his life. I feel for him
Mel Royles

Speaking just two days after the tragedy last year, Mr Royles described the moment the car ploughed into the group.

He said: "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 added: "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.

"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."

At the time, Mr Royles said he had been haunted by the accident and there were some things he witnessed which he would never repeat.

He added: "The driver has got a memory in his head for the rest of his life. I feel for him."




SEE ALSO
Crash cyclist's 'worst second'
10 Jan 06 |  North East Wales
Cycle driver 'wished he was dead'
21 Jun 07 |  North East Wales
Cycle tragedy gritting 'mistake'
20 Jun 07 |  North East Wales
Cycle death driver 'not speeding'
15 Jun 07 |  North East Wales
Cycle death father tells of anger
14 Jun 07 |  North East Wales

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