THESE are the horrific injuries suffered by a cyclist who was pushed into the path of oncoming traffic by an angry motorist.
Impatient Darren Hefferman, 37, overtook Gareth Marshall and retaliated with violence after the cyclist asked him to give him more room.
Heffernan became infuriated by the cyclist’s remarks and lay in wait for him further down the road.
He then pushed the cyclist off his £4,000 bike and punched him into the path of an oncoming van which he then became trapped under – causing catastrophic injuries.
The 43-year-old hit his head on the bonnet of the van and was trapped under the wheels – suffering a broken left collar bone, two fractures to his left shoulder, six or seven broken ribs, a damaged lung, a shattered pelvis, a dislocated right hip, a major burn to his lower back and three fractured vertebrae in his back.
He remained trapped under the van for more than an hour and suffered burns from the vehicle’s engine until the fire service managed to lift it off him.
Witnesses heard the driver Hefferman shout: “Oh God, I’ve killed him. I’m going to prison.”
The cyclist’s injuries included a broken left collar bone and two fractures to his left shoulder[/caption]
Hefferman was jailed for two years yesterday following a trial at Newport crown court.
Stephen Donoghue, prosecuting, said: “In summary this was an offence of road rage whether the defendant ended up punching or pushing the victim causing catastrophic and life-changing injuries.”
The court heard the incident took place on the afternoon of January 11 this year on Beaufort Hill road in Blaenau Gwent when Hefferman drove up behind Mr Marshall and attempted to pass him.
This is the horrific burn to Mr Marshall’s back caused by the heat of the van he was trapped under[/caption]
Mr Donoghue told the court: “Mr Marshall noticed that the engine of a car was revving behind him, trying to overtake him and prevented from doing so as there is oncoming traffic.
“Eventually they did go past. As the car passed, the passenger window was open and Mr Marshall said ‘Give me a bit more room, mate’ because he had gone quite close.
“Whether it was that or some other reason, the defendant became angry.
“Not very far up the road the defendant stopped his car and when Mr Marshall went past the defendant punched him to the head or pushed him, in any event attacked him, and causing him to come off his bike and fall into the carriageway of the oncoming traffic.”
Mr Marshall, who was wearing a cycle helmet, hit the bonnet of the Ford transit van and went under the wheels.
Meanwhile, Hefferman remained at the scene and told police: “I done it.”
He denied punching the cyclist and claimed he had sworn at his wife, who was a passenger in the car, and that made him angry.
Mr Marshall was taken to hospital and underwent three operations, including one to his spine that lasted 10-and-a-half-hours.
He was initially confined to a wheelchair but has since been able to walk again and has recently returned to cycling.
At a previous hearing, Hefferman, of Cooperative Terrace, Nantyglo, Ebbw Vale, pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent.
Jenny Yeo, defending, said that going to prison would be hard for Hefferman’s family because he helps care for his sick mother and sister.
She added: “He accepts responsibility and he tried to speak to Mr Marshall and his frustration led to the push, which led to devastating consequences but there was no intention to cause the injuries that were caused.”
Jailing him for two years on Friday, Judge Richard Williams said: “Mr Marshall was concerned about how close you passed and called out that you should make more room for cyclists.
“You took exception to this and decided to do something about this.
“You pulled into the side of the road and waited for Mr Marshall and as he rode by you pushed him off his bike.
“Your behaviour was arrogant, stupid and dangerous and it shows a total lack of self-control.
“Mr Marshall suffered catastrophic injuries from what you did and will have to live with the consequences of your actions for the rest of his life.
“This incident arose because of your total lack of ability to control your temper and the consequences for Mr Marshall will be life-long.
“Confrontations between road users of this kind must be deterred and when they happen they must be dealt with severely.”
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Speaking afterwards Mr Marshall, who runs his own newsagent business in Ebbw Vale, said: “I am pleased he has gone to prison but will it teach him a lesson? I doubt it very much.
“He knew what he was doing. To say it was a push is a joke and to say I abused his wife is total nonsense.
“He would say things like that because he didn’t want to go to prison.”
Mr Marshall added: “I am disappointed with the sentence he received and would have liked him to receive longer as a deterrent.
“If I wasn’t so fit, I would have died. I appreciate life a lot more.”
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