Cyclist 'lucky to be alive' after being knocked bike by speeding motorist

A cyclist who knocked off his BMX bike by speeding motorist in Yorkshire says he's lucky to be alive after suffered a 'traumatic brain injury'.

Louis Priestley was just 16 when he was thrown over the bonnet of a BMW and hit his head on the windscreen which left him unconscious. He landed 13 metres down the road from where the car, which was travelling at 29mph in a 20mph zone, hit him. Louis, now 24, was rushed to hospital where he was told he had a fractured skull and a traumatic brain injury.

He also sustained injuries to his right knee, shoulder and thigh and suffered from a perforated ear drum.

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Speaking for the first time since the accident, Louis has said that he knows he is 'lucky to still be here' and is 'determined to continue pushing forward' in life.

Louis Priestley after the accidentLouis Priestley after the accident
Louis Priestley after the accident

He said: "While I can't change what's happened to me, I know I'm lucky to still be here. I'm still young, so I'm determined to continue pushing forward with my recovery so I can get my life back on track. I just hope that by sharing my story, I can urge others to stay safe on the roads. I wouldn't wish what I've been through on anyone."

Louis spent four days in hospital following the incident, which happened in Bradford, and was looked after by his family. He then discovered he had extensive ligament damage to his knee and underwent physiotherapy and had knee reconstruction surgery in October 2016.

At the time of the incident, Louis was training to be a plasterer but cannot work as one as he can't do lower level work which includes kneeling and bending. He now works on the production line for a radiator manufacturer which means he is often tired because of his brain injury.

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Louis, of Shipley, said: "I try my best not to dwell on the negatives as I have come so far in my recovery. I can do a lot more now than a few years ago, even going to the gym regularly. My knee hurts after around five to seven minutes of running on the treadmill but I push through it and carry on as I feel that's the only way I can get better at it.

"After the crash, I relied heavily on my mum and sister, but over the past seven years I've gradually regained some of my independence. It wasn't just the physical side of things I had to work on though. I've struggled with sleeping but it's slowly improving, and I've focused a lot on my mental health as I suffered with anxiety and depression after the crash."

Louis' mum Andrea Mitchell instructed expert serious injury lawyers to help her son access the specialist rehabilitation and therapies he requires as part of his recovery. The legal team have just secured him an undisclosed settlement from the driver's insurers to fund his ongoing care and rehabilitation.

Emma Melisa, a specialist serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said that the settlement will help him to 'move forward with his life as best as he can.' She said: "Understandably Louis has found it incredibly difficult coming to terms with the physical and psychological impact of his brain injury.

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"While he continues to face many challenges, he has made remarkable progress with his recovery and has shown such courage in attempting to overcome his injuries and look to a more positive future. We're pleased to have been able to secure a settlement for Louis, which will help fund the treatment and support he needs, while also enabling him to move forward with his life as best he can.

"With Action for Brain Injury Week upon us, Louis's story is also a stark reminder of the dangers of speeding and how lives can be changed in a split second. We join in him in urging drivers to take care on the roads at all times."