[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 9 January 2006, 13:53 GMT
Call for cycle deaths road report

There are calls for reports into "poor road conditions" which may have led to the death of four cyclists when a car skidded and spun 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 have described the deaths on Sunday as a "tragic accident". Officers said a Toyota Corolla travelling in the opposite direction, skidded on ice and spun broadside into the riders, throwing several into a neighbouring field.

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 dangerous stretch of the A547 Rhuddlan Road.

North Wales Police Chief Inspector Martyn Schlangen said there had been a minor accident at the same spot about an hour before the fatal collision and that the police had made a request for the council to re-grit the road.

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

"We're still trying to establish why the driver of the vehicle lost control. He will be interviewed. This person is very deeply shocked," he added.

Conwy councillor for Towyn Darren Millar told BBC Radio Wales he had contacted the chief highways officer as soon as he heard about the incident to ask why the 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.

I went to this lad [and] prayed with him. Then I heard a man, who was in shock, say, 'that's my boy'
Reverend Huw Rowlands

"I understand that other A-roads across the county had been gritted on Sunday morning, in the early hours, as well as on Saturday evening.

"I cannot understand for the life of me why this very busy A-road was not included in this schedule."

Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has also called for a report into the accident.

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

David Horrocks (top); Wayne Wilkies (left); Maurice Broadbent
Riders: David Horrocks (top); Wayne Wilkies (right); Maurice Broadbent

"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."

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."

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

Mr Broadbent, a qualified cycling coach in his 60s, was married with a son and a daughter. Mr Horrocks was a married father and Mr Wilkes leaves a wife and four children - two of his sons were also injured.

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


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See where the accident happened



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


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific