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Last Updated: Monday, 9 January 2006, 08:34 GMT
Hain urges cyclist deaths report
Police examine the scene of the crash near Abergele
All 12 riders in the group were members of a cycling club
Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has called for a report into an accident in which four cyclists died when a car ploughed into them.

One rider, Jon Harland, from Prestatyn, saw his 14-year-old son Thomas killed.

The tragedy happened as 12 members of Rhyl Cycling Club were out near Abergele in North Wales on Sunday.

Club chairman Maurice Broadbent, 61, from Rhuddlan, Dave Horrocks, 55, from Llanerch and 42-year-old Wayne Wilkes, from Rhyl, were also killed.

Police describe the deaths on Sunday as a "tragic accident". Officers said a Toyota Corolla travelling in the opposite direction, skidded on ice and spun into the riders, throwing several into a neighbouring field.

Mr Hain said: "The thoughts of the people of Wales are with the families after this shocking accident. I will be asking the police and the local authorities for a report into how this tragedy happened."

Map of accident location
All 12 riders in the group were members of a cycling club

The cyclists had just set out from Mr Broadbent's home in Rhuddlan on a 60-mile round trip to Great Orme when the crash took place on a notoriously dangerous stretch of the A547 Rhuddlan Road.

Club secretary Scott Eccles said: "It was just a training ride. I've got a cold, otherwise I would have been out there today and I could have been killed."

North Wales Police Chief Inspector Lyn Adams said the car driver had lost control on a gentle left hand bend because of ice.

"There is no indication to suggest that this is down to something like excessive speed," he said.

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

Conwy councillor Darren Miller said he contacted the chief highways officer as soon as he heard about the incident to ask why the road was in such poor condition.

"I understand it was treated at 1730 GMT the previous evening but I personally don't feel it was acceptable given the condition of the road that morning," he told BBC Wales.

One of the first people on the scene was Reverend Huw Rowlands, who told BBC Radio Wales: "I went to this lad [and] prayed with him. Then I heard a man, who was in shock, say, 'That's my boy'.

"It was a sight you can never forget really."

Club time-trial secretary Ashley Roberts said: "It's quite a small club. Everybody has some connection with the riders who were out there [on Sunday]. It's going to affect every member."

Sharp bends

Mr Broadbent, a qualified cycling coach in his 60s, was married with a son and a daughter. Mr Wilkes had two children and Mr Horrocks was also a married father.

Dr Stuart Anderson, a good friend of Mr Broadbent, described him as "one of those genuinely nice people - a very modest but a very effective person".

"Maurice always took the right precautions - he was a very keen safety man," he said.

"I'm sure from the point of view of him and his colleagues they took every precaution."

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

Sue Luckman, 48, a hospital administrator who lives near the accident site, said: "It was carnage, it was awful, absolutely awful."

Seven of the eight cyclists taken to hospital were released last night, North Wales Police said. Mr Harland was still being treated for the broken leg.


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


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