Road Cycling

Injured-cyclist Josh Quigley had ‘angel on his shoulder’ say police investigators – BBC News

Josh Quigley Image copyright Josh Quigley
Image caption Josh Quigley said he was amazed at how different he looked a week after his crash

Police said “an angel must have been on the shoulder” of a cyclist who was badly injured after he was knocked down by a car at 70mph in North America.

Josh Quigley, 27, from Livingston, was attempting to cycle around the world when he was struck by a vehicle in Flat, Texas, on 21 December.

He was hit on Highway 36, near Temple, at 23:24 by a 60-year-old woman driving a maroon Cadillac Sedan.

An investigation has concluded and the driver will not be charged.

Mr Quigley has had operations on a broken heel and ankle as well as a stent fitted in an artery in his neck which feeds blood to his brain.

He has 10 broken ribs, a punctured lung and a fractured pelvis and skull.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Police provided co-ordinates of the exact point where Mr Quigley was knocked off his bike in Flat

He has been forced to abandon his plans to return to Scotland to recuperate after doctors banned him from flying for six weeks.

A Coryell County Sheriff’s Office report said the driver called the police who sent a helicopter to take Mr Quigley to hospital and the road was closed.

It said the driver said Mr Quigley was unable to speak at the scene of the crash and that he was “bleeding from everywhere”.

Sgt Bryan Washko, of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told BBC Scotland officers had responded to a major crash on Highway 36 in Flat, Texas in Coryell County.

He said: “A 2006 Cadillac Sedan operated by a 60-year-old woman was travelling southbound on Highway 36.

“Josh Quigley, 27, of Livingston, Scotland was also southbound on Highway 36. Mr Quigley was legally operating a bicycle on Highway 36 with an operational blinking red rear lamp fixed to his bicycle.”

He said the driver had been approaching Mr Quigley from behind when she collided with him, causing him to be ejected onto the right side of the road.

“The crash investigation is complete and concludes it was an accident, Sgt Washko said. “It was not an intentional act so no charges have been filed.”

He said Mr Quigley sustained “incapacitating” injuries and was flown to Baylor Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas by Med Flight Ambulance.

The cyclist said he was amazed by how well he had recovered in a week.

He said he would now rest in the US until he was able to get back on his bike next year.

Laura Smith, of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said: “He must have had an angel on his shoulder as this was a very serious accident.”

Image copyright Josh Quigley
Image caption Josh Quigley was stranded in the desert after four punctures at night on an earlier part of his journey through the US

Mr Quigley said he felt like the “luckiest guy in the world” for surviving the crash.

He began his round-the-world trip in Edinburgh in April. He was 2,000 miles short of his 18,000 target when he was hit.

It is his seventh attempt at cycling around the world.

He said he was unsure when he would be able to return to riding his bike but that he hoped it would be in April.

The incident is one of a number of setbacks faced by Mr Quigley since he started his trip including sweat ruining his passport in Australia, which meant he had to fly back to Britain to get a new one before carrying on with his tour.

In April, just weeks into his world attempt, thieves stole his bike, which he nicknamed Braveheart, from outside a hostel in London.

Mr Quigley had been planning to cycle from Los Angeles to New York for the latest leg of his trip. But after his water bottles kept freezing in the US winter, he changed course to finish his North American leg in the warmer climate of Florida.

He embarked on the trip to beat depression and alcohol abuse.