HGV driver sobs as cyclist, 51, who was in coma for six weeks and left with life-changing injuries after his lorry ran him over tells court he bears him no ill feeling
- Mark Philpott, 51, ran over cyclist Chris Peach, also 51, with Mercedes HGV
- Triathlete Mr Peach was left in a coma with series of ‘catastrophic’ injuries
- He has since made a full recovery and has begun swimming and running again
- Philpott was tearful as Mr Peach forgave him in court and told him to move on
Lorry driver Mark Philpott, 51, wept in court after a cyclist he ran over forgave him and urged him to move on with his life
A lorry driver who left a cyclist in a coma with life-changing injuries wept in court as his victim forgave him and urged him to ‘get on with his life’.
Mark Philpott, 51, hit Chris Peach, also 51, with his Mercedes HGV when switching lanes in Hull, East Yorkshire, heading towards the motorway.
Mr Peach suffered catastrophic injuries including a collapsed lung and broken bones throughout his body.
He was left in hospital for four months, including six weeks in a coma, but has since made a ‘remarkable recovery’.
Philpott appeared at Hull Crown Court for sentencing yesterday after admitting careless driving.
Mr Peach was invited to give evidence before Judge Mark Bury at the hearing, but before taking the stand prosecutor Charlotte Baines told the court: ‘He [Mr Peach] would like to reach out to Mr Philpott to tell him it is all OK and he should get on with his life as best as possible.’
Philpott, of Shaw, Greater Manchester, became emotional in the dock upon hearing Mr Peach’s remarks and wiped tears from his eyes.
The court heard Philpott was heading for the M62 after making a delivery in Sutton Fields, was switching lanes to turn left onto Ferensway when he collided with Mr Peach, an experienced cyclist who was wearing high visibility clothes and equipment, and had lights on his bike and helmet.
Miss Baines said a witness ‘heard a strange banging noise and saw that there appeared to be some debris in the road, and he realised that was a cycle and an individual in what he described as a crumpled mess’.
Another witness said they saw the lorry ‘suddenly changing lanes’, did not see it indicate, and after observing the aftermath of the crash heard Philpott repeatedly saying: ‘I didn’t see him’.
Chris Peach, 51, left, sustained catastrophic injuries in the collision, including a collapsed lung, and was in a coma for six weeks. He has since made a ‘remarkable recovery’ and said he held no ill will against the driver. Mr Peach is pictured in hospital with daughters Naomi, centre, and Mary, right
The collision occurred when Philpott changed lanes in his Mercedes HGV and ‘didn’t see’ Mr Peach despite the cyclist wearing hi-vis gear. Pictured is the scene after the crash
Mr Peach, a town planner who had been cycling to and from work for 25 years, said he could remember nothing after going to get on his bicycle at 4pm.
His injuries included fractures to his face, spine, jaw, sternum, ribs, arm, shoulder, elbow and toes, as well as a collapsed lung and kidney failure.
Asked by the judge how it was to be cycling on the same route home again, Mr Peach said: ‘I’m a bit slower than I used to be but it’s fine.
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‘A little bit nerve-wracking. I realise accidents happen and you have to be careful, and most of the time when you’re careful you’re OK.’
The judge replied: ‘Nobody’s saying you were not careful on the day in question.’
Mr Peach, a triathlete, said he had begun swimming and running again, but not as much as he used to, adding: ‘Age has caught up with me and the accident has caught up with me.’
The judge said: ‘I don’t know whether to regard you as lucky or unlucky.’
Mr Peach said he considered himself ‘lucky’ after the crash and added there was ‘plenty of life left’. Pictured is the scene after the crash
Mr Peach added: ‘I consider myself lucky. There’s plenty of life left even though it might not quite be as I planned it. It’s still left to enjoy.’
Philpott also became emotional when told he would not be losing his licence. He was fined £500 and had six points put on his licence.
The judge told the defendant: ‘Where you are culpable is when you were stationary you failed to appreciate Mr Peach cycling up behind you.
‘He was there to be seen in high visibility equipment and lights, and had you been paying proper attention you would have seen him, should have seen him, and therefore before you manoeuvred into the left hand lane you would have ensured he was not in the way of your lorry – that’s your failing.’
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