Drink-driver hit boy on bike reversed over him and sped off

·3 min read
Keith Vernon car with the bike still wedged beneath the wheels. See SWNS story SWNNcyclist; A drink-driver ran over a 10-year-old cyclist trapping him underneath the car before reversing over him and driving off with the bike still wedged beneath the wheels.  The boy was left with a broken collar bone, a fractured vertebrae, a fractured pelvis, a dislocated hip and a burn covering the left side of his face. Keith Vernon, 76, was over twice the legal limit when he rammed his car into the boy who was cycling with his dad. The young cyclist, from Pulborough, a village in Horsham, west Sussex, had been cycling in West Chittingham with his father and another adult when he was struck from behind by the black Renault Twingo. The impact caused him to flip over his handlebars and onto the road, where the car continued to drive over him. His dad desperately tried to warn the driver the boy was trapped beneath his car but he ignored them. He then reversed over the boy. The lad's helmet was destroyed, found bloodied and broken but police say it saved the boy from a very serious head injury. Emergency services responded to the incident, which occurred about 10.20pm on October 6 last year.
Keith Vernon ran over a 10-year-old cyclist, trapping him underneath the car before reversing over him and driving off. (SWNS)

A drink-driver ran over a 10-year-old cyclist, trapping him underneath the car before reversing over him and driving off with the bike still wedged under the wheels.

Keith Vernon, 76, was more than twice the legal limit when he hit the boy as he drove home from his local pub in West Chittingham, west Sussex.

The 10-year-old, whose father had desperately tried to tell Vernon he had run over his son, was left with a broken collar bone, a fractured vertebrae, a fractured pelvis, a dislocated hip and a burn covering the left side of his face.

Vernon has now been jailed for two-and-a-half years and disqualified from driving for four-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, drink-driving and failing to stop after a road traffic collision.

The boys smashed up cycle helmet that was destroyed, and found bloodied and broken but police say it saved the boy from a very serious head injury. See SWNS story SWNNcyclist; A drink-driver ran over a 10-year-old cyclist trapping him underneath the car before reversing over him and driving off with the bike still wedged beneath the wheels.  The boy was left with a broken collar bone, a fractured vertebrae, a fractured pelvis, a dislocated hip and a burn covering the left side of his face. Keith Vernon, 76, was over twice the legal limit when he rammed his car into the boy who was cycling with his dad. The young cyclist, from Pulborough, a village in Horsham, west Sussex, had been cycling in West Chittingham with his father and another adult when he was struck from behind by the black Renault Twingo. The impact caused him to flip over his handlebars and onto the road, where the car continued to drive over him. His dad desperately tried to warn the driver the boy was trapped beneath his car but he ignored them. He then reversed over the boy. The lad's helmet was destroyed, found bloodied and broken but police say it saved the boy from a very serious head injury. Emergency services responded to the incident, which occurred about 10.20pm on October 6 last year.
Police say the boy's helmet, found bloodied and broken, saved the boy from a very serious head injury. (SWNS)

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Hove Crown Court heard that the boy, from Pulborough in Horsham, West Sussex, had been cycling in West Chittingham on 6 October last year with his father and another adult when he was hit from behind by the black Renault Twingo.

The impact made him flip over his handlebars and onto the road, where the car then drove over him. 

The court heard that the boy's dad desperately tried to warn the driver that his son was trapped beneath his car but he ignored them and then reversed over the boy before driving away, travelling a quarter of a mile through the village with the bike still trapped under the car.

Emergency services were called to the incident, which happened at about 10.20pm. 

They tracked the vehicle and found it parked over a kerb with the mangled bike still underneath.

Vernon was breathalysed and found to have 77 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system - more than twice the legal limit of 35 micrograms.

Keith Vernon. See SWNS story SWNNcyclist; A drink-driver ran over a 10-year-old cyclist trapping him underneath the car before reversing over him and driving off with the bike still wedged beneath the wheels.  The boy was left with a broken collar bone, a fractured vertebrae, a fractured pelvis, a dislocated hip and a burn covering the left side of his face. Keith Vernon, 76, was over twice the legal limit when he rammed his car into the boy who was cycling with his dad. The young cyclist, from Pulborough, a village in Horsham, west Sussex, had been cycling in West Chittingham with his father and another adult when he was struck from behind by the black Renault Twingo. The impact caused him to flip over his handlebars and onto the road, where the car continued to drive over him. His dad desperately tried to warn the driver the boy was trapped beneath his car but he ignored them. He then reversed over the boy. The lad's helmet was destroyed, found bloodied and broken but police say it saved the boy from a very serious head injury. Emergency services responded to the incident, which occurred about 10.20pm on October 6 last year.
Vernon was jailed for two-and-a-half years. (SWNS)

The boy's helmet was found bloodied and broken, but police said it saved him from a very serious head injury. He is now recovering.

Sentencing Vernon, Judge Shani Barnes said she did not accept that he had not seen the child, and had made a conscious decision to drive when drunk and had a desire "to protect himself before anyone else".

Sergeant Richard Hornsey, from Sussex Police, said: "Vernon was driving home after drinking in a local pub and was over the drink-drive limit when he collided with the cyclist.

"This was clearly a traumatic incident for those directly involved, but it has also affected the wider community."

He added: "Vernon ignored the pleas of the bystanders, which included the child’s father, and they described the wheels of the car spinning as Vernon tried to drive away while the child and the bicycle were trapped underneath.

"The child was wearing a cycle helmet which received significant damage but protected him from a more serious head injury.

“Vernon drove for over a quarter of a mile through the village with the bicycle trapped under his car, but at no point did he stop to check if the cyclist was still underneath, which shows a complete disregard for the safety of other road users."

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