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Charity cyclist hit by truck on US trip

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A former Rugby schoolboy’s escape from death is thanks to “the best £120” he ever spent.

Forking out for a top-notch cycle helmet saved Steven Prime from horrific head injuries and certain death.

Steven was on a charity bike ride near Seattle, in the USA, when a pick-up driver overtook him, but then swerved into him to avoid oncoming traffic.

The 29-year-old was left unconscious and suffered a broken back in three places, six broken ribs and a broken arm.

He was taken to hospital and then airlifted to a major injuries unit in Seattle, where he spent three days in intensive care.

The former Bilton High and Lawrence Sheriff pupil said: “The helmet saved my life. If I had bought a cheap one I’d be dead. It was the best £120 I’ve spent in my life. There’s a fine line between surviving and being dead.”

Steven, who is now recovering at the home of his parents, Carrall and Bill Prime, of Millfields Avenue, Hillmorton, has no recollection of his brush with death on August 10.

His next memory was waking up hours later with medical staff around him. He said: “I remember gradually opening my eyes and seeing the doctor, being completely confused and in agony.

“I must have asked the doctor ten times what had happened – it just did not register.”

Steven said police told him they were considering criminal charges against the driver. He added: “I don’t know if they’ll charge him, but I hope they do. ”

Steven was with two friends from Coventry on the trip, including former Bilton High pupil Dayle Walker.

Steven, who now lives in Coventry and owns the Esquires Coffee House at the Coventry Transport Museum, had cycled on from a lunch stop for his friends to catch him up in the support vehicle. They had been searching along the route for Steven and were about to call police when the hospital phoned them.

Steven finally persuaded his parents not to fly out. He said: “They were manically worried but I did not want them spending lots of money coming out when I had friends here to help.”

The hospital released Steven after three days so he could go home – but not before ensuring there was no brain damage and that he could attend to his personal needs. He said: “It was the medical staff who told me the helmet saved my life.”

He is not expected to recover fully for months.

He was in the USA fundraising for the Coffee Kids charity, which helps poor coffee-growing communities in Latin America, and was only 40 miles into a 1,400-miles journey. In 2011 he raised more than £3,000 for the charity on a 3,000-miles bike trip in the USA.

He has already raised £2,200 from his recent cycle ride. To donate go to www.cycleamerica2014.com

 

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