Cyclist hurt in hit-and-run

PUBLISHED: 13:00 17 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:49 10 June 2010

A LYMPSTONE charity cyclist was left impaled through the leg on a hedge when a hit-and-run driver crashed into his bike. Lee Rowe, 36, of The Strand, was riding along the Exmouth to Lympstone cycle path and was turning down into the village when a car sla

A LYMPSTONE charity cyclist was left impaled through the leg on a hedge when a hit-and-run driver crashed into his bike.Lee Rowe, 36, of The Strand, was riding along the Exmouth to Lympstone cycle path and was turning down into the village when a car slammed into his bicycle and drove off without stopping, on Saturday night.Mr Rowe, a barman at the Swan Inn, was catapulted into the hedge on his bike - and when he tried to stand up he realised he was impaled through the leg by a stick.A piece of branch had pierced through his skin and more than an inch of wood was embedded in his leg.Because Mr Rowe's feet were clipped onto the bike pedals, he was unable to move, or stand, until he pulled the stick free from his flesh.It took him five minutes to remove the stick."I was in agony and still am," said Mr Rowe, who in 2009 plans to raise money for charity through cycling. "It was in over an inch. "I had to pull the bit of wood out before I could untangle myself from the hedge. It's lucky I am not squeamish."Afterwards I sat on the bike and pedalled with one leg, then free-wheeled downhill."It was a dirty lump of wood and I was lucky it didn't penetrate further into my leg. It could have damaged my ligaments and that would have been the end of cycling for me."The car was coming down the hill. I could see the lights."It sounded like it was going too quickly, so I slowed down. It came around the corner on the wrong side of the road and the car went into my leg and broke my bike in the process."It pushed me into the hedge and I got impaled on the wood. The car didn't stop."I want everyone to know there are some dangerous drivers on the road who don't give a damn about people on bikes."Immediately after the accident, Mr Rowe took himself to hospital where two small pieces of stick were removed from his leg.Mr Rowe's carbon fibre race-spec Trek Madone, worth more than £2,000, was a write-off following the crash.The bike has been sent back to the manufacturer for extensive repairs ahead of next year's charity events.