Simon Richardson in court battle with insurers after hit and run
By John Whitney in Bath, UK | Monday, September 24, 2012 5.00pm
Simon Richardson lit the Paralympic flame in Cardiff last month Ian Homer
The insurance company of the hit-and-run driver who left Paralympic cyclist Simon Richardson for dead are holding back on the £36,000 he needs for an urgent back operation.
Richardson was critically injured in the crash, suffering a double fracture of the spine, a double pelvis break, a broken breast bone, severe lacerations to his legs and a deflated lung. He only recently recovered enough to be able to ride at all, meaning his hopes to compete in the London 2012 Paralympic Games were dashed.
At the end of the trial he said he would put his energies into getting fit for the 2016 Games in Rio but the news today has put that dream in jeopardy.
Richardson told BikeRadar that their is a disagreement between the medical experts representing each side regarding his injuries and he will now go to court to find a resolution.
While he could wait for the operation on the NHS, it could take up to two years - a delay that would scupper his dream of representing Great Britain at the next Paralympics.
He says he would need to be training within the next year to have any hope of being fit enough for Rio which would mean having the operation to rebuild his back within the next couple of months. Such is his determination to get back to bike racing he says he may resort to selling his house to pay for the op.
Should his Paralympic hopes not materialize, he says he's been working on an alternative project with former Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt that 'would turn a few heads'.
The driver in the crash Edward Adams, 60, was jailed for 15 months and banned from driving for five years following sentencing at Cardiff Crown Court last month.
He was found guilty of the offence of dangerous driving after causing the crash on the A48 near Bridgend, Wales last year. He was driving with illegal levels of alcohol in his body and failed to stop at the scene, and will also serve a three-month concurrent sentence.
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