Cyclist in coma after ‘accident’
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Cape Town -
An East London cyclist visiting Cape Town is in a medically induced coma in hospital after he and a fellow cyclist were knocked down by a car while training for the Western Province Track Championships.
Jevandre Pauls, 19 is in Netcare Kuils River Hospital after he and 23-year-old Craig Symons were knocked down in Polkadraai Road in Stellenbosch on Friday. They were training for the championship, which was held at the Bellville Velodrome at the weekend.
Pauls’s coach and manager, Barry Austin, who was asked to represent the family as they were too traumatised to speak, said Pauls had swelling of the brain and severe facial fractures.
Doctors would try to bring him out of his medically induced coma on Monday, after which they would be able to determine the full extent of his injuries, Austin said on Sunday.
“Jevandre is a junior cycling champion. We, Bonitas Pro Cycling, had sponsored him to take part in the Western Province Track Championships. We were confident he would qualify for the SA Track Championships in Durban next month,” said Austin.
He said Pauls had recovered from an accident at the Race for Victory in September, when he suffered facial and dental fractures after he fell off his bike.
That accident prevented him from representing South Africa at the World Road Race Championships in Italy in October, said Austin.
Symons, a member of Ride Life Giant cycling club, said he and Pauls were cycling single file in the yellow lane when they were struck from behind.
Pauls, who was cycling behind Symons, was first to get struck, Symons said.
“Everything happened in a matter of seconds. When I looked up to see what had happened, I saw blood everywhere,” said Symons.
He said he was flung off his bicycle and fractured his pelvis. He spent most of the weekend recovering in bed after he had been discharged from hospital after the accident, he said.
Symons said he was due to participate in the national team for the Mzansi Tour next month, but would now be off his bike for at least eight weeks. He would undergo a brain scan on Monday to check if he was fine.
He and Pauls were returning from training when the accident happened, Symons said.
He said the driver of the car did not offer to help them. Instead, another driver had stopped to assist. “She called the police and helped us off the road,” said Symons.
Kandice Buys, spokeswoman for Bonitas Pro Cycling, said the incident was being investigated by police.