Cyclist on footpath breaks girl's collarbone in collision
A FIVE-YEAR-OLD girl has a broken collarbone, cuts, bruises and a tyre tread mark on her back after being mowed down by a cyclist on a popular shared pathway near Mooloolaba on Father's Day.
Her angry dad, Howard Fletcher, is calling for fast-moving cyclists to slow down or get off shared pathways, particularly when there is a clearly marked cycle lane next to it.
Mr Fletcher, from Buderim, said he and his family were walking back to their car at Alexandra Headland after enjoying ice-creams at Mooloolaba.
"We stopped off at the exercise area along the pathway," Mr Fletcher said
"I went with my older daughter, Grace, 7, and Chelsea went to walk across to the park.
"A cyclist going downhill took her out. She didn't know what happened but she became his human brake pad.
"The guy came off the bike, but she was underneath it.''
The cyclist, who was clad in proper cycling gear, stopped and was extremely apologetic. He appeared uninjured.
"My focus was to get Chelsea home, but she was bleeding on the head so we took her to the emergency at Nambour,'' Mr Fletcher said.
"She has a broken collarbone, multiple bruising and lacerations.''
Mr Fletcher said the cyclist said he was going slowly, but it did not appear that way.
"The beauty of cycle paths is you can hurtle down hills. He reckoned it was nobody's fault, but it was an accident waiting to happen.
"On weekends everyone is using paths - rollerbladers, cyclists and walkers.
"But when you have a good road area with cycle lanes painted on it, why can't they use that area?
"This was a guy out for a good ride and he cleaned up a little kid in the process."
Mr Fletcher's wife, Amanda, said the couple were also keen cyclists, but shared footpaths should be for people going for an amble and not those moving at speed.
Thankfully Chelsea's injuries will heal, although she was "sore and wounded" yesterday.
"I had to pick the bike off her. She was screaming her head off," Mr Fletcher said.
"This guy had the proper gear on, he wasn't some commuter picking up a loaf of bread."
Grace watched the horrific incident unfold, but it happened too fast for her to warn her sister.
Suncoast Cycling Alliance spokesman Damien Jones said accidents of this kind were upsetting, but it would be too extreme to ban cyclists from shared footpaths.
"Most cyclists travel slowly, no more than a fast walking speed, on a shared footpath, particularly when there are young families around," Mr Jones said.
"Unfortunately accidents happen."