Teacher and wife injured in A48 cycling crash as helmets 'may have saved lives'


A teacher was injured and his wife broke her back in a cycling crash last Saturday – but he believes helmets may have saved their lives.

Ivan and Lisa Woodward were riding a tandem bike in A48 High Street, Westbury-on-Severn, at about 3pm when the accident happened.

Newent Community School history teacher Ivan, 52, has no recollection of what caused the bike to crash.

Lisa, 54, broke a bone in her back. She remains in Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. It is not yet known if she will suffer any loss of mobility.

Ivan Woodward sustained several injuries

Ivan, of Ruspidge Road in Ruspidge, broke a finger on his left hand and his right shoulder-bone, as well as suffering fractures on the right side of his face.

He said: “Our cycling helmets were both badly damaged during the accident but they did their job and things could have been so much worse.”

The couple have been going for a 20-mile bike ride once a week for about three years.

Lisa, who is visually impaired, sits at the back and indicates before turnings.

Ivan and Lisa Woodward

On the afternoon they crashed, they had been planning to sit by the River Severn in Westbury and enjoy a flask of tea.

The last thing Ivan remembers is telling his wife to indicate right, ahead of a turn onto Bell Lane.

He said: “I don’t know what caused us to crash. It might have been a mechanical failure of the bike or it might have skidded.”

Ivan went over the handlebars and Lisa fell sideways off the bike, he was told by witnesses. No other vehicle was involved.

“I must have been knocked out,” he said. “I came to on a verge and remember seeing lots of people looking at me.

The bike’s forks came off

“There was a driver behind who stopped and took charge of the situation. He stayed until the paramedics came and told them what happened.

“When the paramedics came they weren’t happy with taking us both to hospital in the same ambulance because I was a bit unpredictable, so they called for another one.

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“I was in and out of consciousness. It was only when we got to hospital that I fully regained consciousness.”

Ivan praised the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital A&E staff and the paramedics who he said “were all brilliant”.

Damage to the bike

He had an operation on his hand and was discharged on Monday night, but Lisa has been told she may have to stay in hospital for five weeks.

Ivan hopes they can still go on a cycling trip to Ireland they have planned for August.

He says he has been passionate about cycling since he was a boy and has ridden more than 2,000 miles on the tandem bike.

Its forks came off in the accident, but Ivan hopes it can be repaired.


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