A SCOTTISH cyclist believed to be on a cross-nation charity fundraising ride was one of two men killed yesterday after a collision involving an articulated lorry in Cornwall.
The Edinburgh man in his 40s, who has not been named, is believed to have been on the first leg of a long-distance journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats when he and another cyclist were struck by the 32-tonne vehicle while travelling east on the A30.
The other victim was a man in his 30s. Police were still waiting to inform his next of kin yesterday, but it is not thought he was Scottish.
Eyewitnesses described the “shocking” scenes which followed the tragedy shortly after 8.30am yesterday morning. One cyclist was thrown into a ditch at the side of the road, while the other was dragged for about 100 yards by the vehicle.
Motorists went to the aid of the cyclists but they were both pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the lorry has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. The man, who is in his 30s and from the Devon town of Holsworthy, has been released on police bail while investigations continue.
Mechanic Mike Naylor was at work in his garage when he heard the crash at the eastbound section of the road near the village of Summercourt, close to Newquay.
Recalling how he saw people attempt to save the cyclists, he said: “A colleague said something serious had happened on the A30 so we went out and had a look and we could see somebody in a ditch.
“Just after it happened, a lot of members of the public had got out of their cars and were running backwards and forwards and somebody was giving one of them CPR which was quite shocking.”
Devon and Cornwall Police said they believed the men had only set off on the route yesterday. They were carrying backpacks with provisions for the long- distance cycle route but it is not clear if they were part of a larger organised group, or were travelling alone.
Inspector Stuart Gibbons from the force said: “They were heading back up to Scotland. It appears they were doing some sort of long-distance event heading towards Scotland.”
He added: “As a matter of procedure the lorry driver involved has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and taken to a local police station where he will be interviewed.”
The damaged remains of the bikes along with backpacks the cyclists were wearing could be seen scattered across the road and the grass verge as accident scene investigators carried out their work.
The lorry involved in the tragedy – owned by Frys Logistics, a Cornwall-based firm – was also parked on the hard shoulder.
Weather conditions at the time were thought to be overcast and damp but visibility was good.
The Cornwall air ambulance was scrambled to the scene along with fire and ambulance crews.
The eastbound carriageway remained closed off yesterday evening with detours in place as police investigators worked out what had happened.