‘Didn’t see or hear anything’: Cyclist relives horror impact
LYING broken and bruised on bitumen, bike parts sprawled across a road, Dr John Masson tried to piece together what had happened as his wife crawled towards him to check he was alive.
The Townsville doctor and his wife, Kirsteen Masson, a nurse, considered themselves the "lucky" ones as they spoke to the Townsville Bulletin while recovering at home from a morning they will never forget.
The parents were among a group of five cyclists injured after allegedly being mowed down from behind by a car at Mount Louisa this week.
The man alleged to be responsible faced court yesterday head bowed in the dock, as multiple cyclists remained in hospital.
Dr Masson said the morning started like every Wednesday - a 50km ride that covered the ideal cycling stretch of Dalrymple Rd, accompanied by their cycling buddy, Dianne Graham.
Two riders from their usual group decided to sleep in that morning, but they soon merged with separate cyclists, Jade Connor and Brad Wilton.
"Everything was fine. We were in the cycle lane and didn't see or hear anything," Dr Masson said.
"Then all of a sudden everything was flying around … it was like I was watching six or seven frozen pictures of it all unfold in front of me."
The experienced cyclist of 15 years knew something "major" had happened when he started to piece it together while he lay injured and distressed on the side of the road.
He blacked out, lost track of time, and opened his eyes to a crowd of people helping the group, directing traffic and frantically calling paramedics.
All five cyclists were rushed to hospital as police tried to piece together what happened.
The Massons were released from Townsville University Hospital late on Wednesday night. He suffered broken ribs and Mrs Masson was confined to crutches for a fractured pelvis. Their friends were less fortunate.
Ms Connor, a Townsville lawyer for North Queensland Women's Legal Service, has undergone leg surgery and suffered a fractured pelvis, back and neck.
Her riding partner, Mr Wilton, and Thrive Pharmacy Annandale pharmacist Ms Graham also remained in hospital.
They are expected to endure weeks of recovery.
The horrific event also took a toll on the health workers, with Dr Masson's colleagues left to look after his patients while he recovers.
The gastroenterologist will be restricted to consultations and unable to complete physical procedures.
Despite the horrific incident, Dr Masson was focused on the positive aspects.
"Focusing on the negatives doesn't take us forward. I would rather celebrate the medical staff who looked after us," he said.
Dr Masson praised the first responders, medical and hospital staff for their excellent care.