One rider was killed and another injured when a truck travelling north towards Newcastle, Australia veered into a training bunch of 20 riders at 6:45 A.M. this morning. Police and ambulance officers responded quickly to the accident and a 33 year-old man was rushed to John Hunter Hospital, but passed away before arriving at the hospital.
Newcastle Police spokesman Sergeant Tony Tamplin said investigators are still figuring out how the accident occurred. "We still don't know the finer details; I am waiting to speak to the crash investigation unit who have just left the scene," said Sergeant Tamplin.
Local rider John Ebeling was one of the 20 riders in the bunch, riding just three riders back, and recalled the morning's events. "We were swapping off turns like we always do on a Tuesday morning, with one pace line going up and the other one down in the emergency lane," Ebeling told Cyclingnews.com.
"We were on our way back from Swansea when a truck came past us; he was pretty close, but no closer than a lot of other trucks come to us," he added. "He seemed to be edging closer to us, I don't think that he was swerving at us, more just moving back into the lane as he came around us. It looked like he bumped the guy who then ran into the guy beside him and bounced back to hit the truck. I think that he hit his head on the truck then again on the road."
The truck driver pulled his rig to a stop only 100 metres from the scene of the accident and waited for police to arrive. "One rider in the bunch, Paul Healey - a Doctor in Newcastle, immediately attended to those injured, with several riders helping out with CPR," Ebeling added.
The driver of the truck was "traumatized by the accident and was taken to Hospital for breath testing and will be spoken to in due course", Sergeant Tamplin added.
Another man injured in the accident was treated for cuts and abrasions, requiring stitches to his elbow and knee.
The 33 year-old victim survived by his wife and two children.