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‘Helmet saved my life, now I want to save pupils’ lives’
AFTER David Elliott-Smith cycled headfirst into a stationary lorry in Kidlington at 25 miles an hour, a doctor told him it was a “miracle” he was still alive.
Now he wants to teach primary schoolchildren about the importance of bike safety and wearing a helmet.
The 52-year-old has fully recovered from his accident outside The Jolly Boatman Pub in July 2008, which he admits was “completely my own fault”.
And he credits his helmet for saving his life.
He gives talks at schools around Bicester and wants to speak in classrooms all over Oxfordshire in the hope of saving other lives, too.
Mr Elliott-Smith started by giving a talk to his six-year-old son Rhys’ class at Bure Park Primary.
The Bure Park resident said: “I always wear the same clothes I was wearing when I had the accident and show them pictures of me lying on the road after the accident.
“I want to get across to the children that bodies can be broken.
“My aim is to go to as many schools as possible.
“If it makes them ask their parents for a cycle helmet, I consider it a success as far as I am concerned.
“If it stops them getting hurt then that is my job done.”
Incredibly, apart from being “black and blue” with bruises, he did not break a single bone in his body in the crash and was released from the John Radcliffe Hospital the same day.
The impact of his bike hitting the lorry snapped his handle bars and he could see the imprint of his helmet on his face for weeks.
He said: “The doctor could not understand it.
“His only explanation was that I didn’t see it and had not tensed up so I was like a slab of jelly. It was very painful though.”
Mr Elliott-Smith has since spoken at Langford village primary and Fringford village primary, both near Bicester. He said: “The pupils and teachers always ask really interesting questions. The talks have gone really, really well.”
- To contact him email email@example.com