Sarah-Charlotte Peace, Oswestry, Shropshire, August 2012
Sarah-Charlotte, or S-C as she prefers to be called, is a qualified yoga instructor, registered exercise professional and design teacher, with a passion for cycling.
S-C was due to start a new job as a design teacher which coincided with plans to expand her yoga instruction when very suddenly her life was thrown upside down and her career plans destroyed by a driver’s irresponsible behaviour.
On a sunny afternoon in August 2012 S-C chose to ride home along an extended route to make the most of the sunshine. Not far from her home she safely entered a roundabout and signalled to come off after the first exit, as she did so a driver drove onto the roundabout without seeing her and hit her bike from behind, S-C had tried to pedal away from the car but there was no time and the impact forced S-C to the ground. The driver failed to stop the car but drove over S-C’s legs with the front wheel and again with the rear wheel as she lay in the road. The driver eventually stopped 40 feet further down the road with S-C’s bike wedged under her vehicles rear wheel.
S-C was immediately admitted to hospital with a high risk of compartment syndrome (cut-off blood circulation) and had to have emergency surgery on her right ankle where a wound was exposing the bone. She spent two weeks in hospital. 9 months since the crash S-C still has to attend hospital 5 times a week for physiotherapy treatments, in addition to many hours of exercise to improve her ankle’s mobility and further medical appointments.
S-C was conscious for the entire ordeal and now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. In the months following the crash she struggled to leave her house and she still struggles to cross the road alone, never achieves a restful sleep and cannot bare loud noises as they bring back vivid memories of the collision.
S-C did not receive any support from the police. She was sent a form to complete with her victim statement but never heard from the police that attended the scene. In court the driver admitted that she had not looked properly when entering the roundabout in her vehicle and that she had heard S-C scream, she also said she was not a dangerous driver. The driver was found guilty of careless driving and fined £110, she also had to pay £60 court costs, a £15 victim surcharge (although none of this went to providing victim support to S-C) and received 9 penalty points. S-C attended the court case and was told by the judge that the driver would have received a lesser sentence if the court hadn’t seen the extent of her injuries.
S-C now campaigns for road safety measures in her town. She has obtained over 1000 signatures for her 20’s plenty petition to the local council and blogs at www.peacecycling.blogspot.co.uk