Cyclist hit by car door: I could have been killed

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A Tahunanui man knocked off his bike a fortnight ago is urging drivers to take extra care when opening their car doors.

Barry Taylor was cycling along Rocks Rd, near the Boathouse, when the driver’s door of a parked car was opened right in front of him. The impact sent him flying in the air before crashing to the ground and leaving the 55 year old with a fractured vertebra, ribs and pelvis.

After spending a week in hospital he is now back at his home on Blackwood St – which is right next door to the home of Bill Higgins, who was killed when he was knocked off his bike on Tahunanui Drive last November.

Barry says that he thought of Bill after the crash. “I thought ‘jeez, it could have been another one of us’. It certainly crossed my mind.”

He says the impact of the accident left him in so much pain he couldn’t move. “Everyone who tried to touch me I just told them to stay away, just leave me alone. Someone said they called the ambulance and when they arrived they bundled me on board with multiple screams and flash language.”

In hospital, the doctors told him they had to wait for the pain to ease before they could do scans, so Barry was taken to a ward and made as comfortable as possible.

He says it was agony.

“It felt like my leg had been ripped out, it was excruciating. They gave me morphine, but the pain was so bad.”

Barry was in hospital for eight days and now faces a three month recovery.

He is a beneficiary, but does volunteer at the Koha Shed and is the area coordinator for the pink ribbon street appeal.

He says he usually looks through the rear windows of parked cars when he is cycling to make sure no one is in the driver’s seat who could open the door.

But this car had tinted windows and luggage in the back that he couldn’t see through. “It could have been worse, I could have been killed. But I’m trying to stay positive,” he says.

Police are following up with the man who opened the car door, he identified himself as “Steve” to nelsonlive.co.nz, which first reported the story.

To cap off a crummy week for Barry, his beloved dog was put down after it was diagnosed with breast cancer.