18/08/2011

'Hit & Run' Paralympian 'Critical'

Paralympic cyclist Simon Richardson is in a critical condition in hospital after being injured in an alleged hit-and-run collision.

According to reports, the 44-year-old from Porthcawl suffered multiple spine fractures, a broken pelvis and a broken breast-bone. It is also understood that he is suffering from a "detached" lung, meaning that only one of his lungs is functioning.

He is understood to be in a critical, but stable condition and is likely to undergo surgery later today.

Mr Richardson was apparently hit by a white van while cycling on the A48 around 9:40am on Wednesday. The collision happened at Crack Hill House, Bridgend. The van failed to stop and continued along the A48 towards Cowbridge. Two other cars were also involved in a crash at the same location following the crash - a black Toyota Avensis, driven by a 43-year-old man and a gold Rover 25, driven by a 74-year-old woman. The female driver was treated in hospital for chest injuries.

South Wales Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident.

A 59-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Mr Richardson won two gold and one silver medal at the 2008 Beijing games, but it is feared that the crash will end his hopes of competing in London 2012.

Mr Richardson was left permanently disabled after being involved in a serious crash in 2001, which shattered his leg and broke his back in two places, leaving him with no feeling down his left hand side.

He was awarded an MBE in 2009 following his success at the Beijing games.

(KMcA/BMcC)

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