Hit and run driver should own up, says uni lecturer

Oxford Mail: Dr James McMullen with his helmet Dr James McMullen with his helmet

A CYCLIST says he is “baffled” by the attitude of a hit-and-run van driver who knocked him off his bike and left him lying injured in the road.

Japanese history lecturer Dr James McMullen’s cycle helmet was smashed in the incident in Woodstock Road, Oxford, on Monday.

The 70-year-old would have been seriously injured without the safety gear.

Dr McMullen, a lecturer at Oxford University’s Faculty of Oriental Studies, called for the driver of a white Mercedes sprinter van – or similar model – to hand himself into the police.

“I am shocked that the driver did not stop; I can’t get my mind round it,” he said.

“There was quite a jolt when the van hit me so the driver must have felt the impact.

“How did the driver know he had not killed me?

“I am baffled by his behaviour and would urge him to contact the police as soon as possible.

“My cycle helmet was broken in the accident – a large chunk came out of it – and it saved me from a serious head injury.

“I was very lucky not to break any bones and I was left very shocked by what happened – I can hardly walk.”

The father-of-one, whose wife Bonnie, 66, is helping to look after him following the accident, was on his way to the Oriental Institute in Pusey Lane to carry out some research when he was clipped by the van.

He said: “It is possible the driver was blinded by the sun before he hit me.

“But he needs to contact the police because it is possible some lessons could be learned from this accident.”

He added: “I have lived in Oxford for 38 years and have been cycling all my life.

“I have cycled down Woodstock Road so many times, that if you add up all the journeys I could have reached the moon!”

Mrs McMullen said: “The cycle helmet might have saved my husband’s life.

“It certainly saved him from fracturing his skull.”

Dr McMullen, who is semi-retired, was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital for treatment following the accident at 11am, which happened between the junctions of Beech Croft Road and Moreton Road. He added: “I want to thank the paramedics and the police who got there very quickly after the accident.

“Another van driver did pull over and stop to help me and a number of passers-by came to my rescue and phoned for help.

“The ambulance crew were very thorough. This sort of thing must happen every day, but you never think it is going to happen to you.”

The white van featured red lettering on the side, advertising a local or national firm.

David Staines, a spokesman for Thames Valley Police, said no arrests had been made.

He urged anyone with information to contact police on 08458 505505.

Comments (9)

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8:43pm Tue 5 Jan 10

Reynaldo Throckmorton, Duke of Botley says...

The important point here is that despite the van driver's disgraceful behaviour Dr McMullen has survived without serious injury. The very best of luck to him. But why on earth does this report call him a professor? Judging by his web page, the faculty staff page and the Pembroke College website he's no such thing. A trivial matter in the circumstances but Oxford's own newspaper really should get these distinctions right.
The important point here is that despite the van driver's disgraceful behaviour Dr McMullen has survived without serious injury. The very best of luck to him. But why on earth does this report call him a professor? Judging by his web page, the faculty staff page and the Pembroke College website he's no such thing. A trivial matter in the circumstances but Oxford's own newspaper really should get these distinctions right. Reynaldo Throckmorton, Duke of Botley
  • Score: 0

5:00am Wed 6 Jan 10

Golum says...

“The ambulance crew were very thorough. This sort of thing must happen every day, but you never think it is going to happen to you.”

That is correct, it does happen every day. Why the big deal over you I will never know. Just count your blessing.
“The ambulance crew were very thorough. This sort of thing must happen every day, but you never think it is going to happen to you.” That is correct, it does happen every day. Why the big deal over you I will never know. Just count your blessing. Golum
  • Score: 0

3:59pm Wed 6 Jan 10

Floflo says...

Hope they find the driver. A hit and run where someone's life is at risk is a big deal.
Hope they find the driver. A hit and run where someone's life is at risk is a big deal. Floflo
  • Score: 0

8:24am Thu 7 Jan 10

bluealice says...

Golum wrote:
Floflo wrote: Hope they find the driver. A hit and run where someone's life is at risk is a big deal.
That is his word. He just proberbly fell off and blamed a van. A white van with red writing, not many of then about is there!
Do you reckon it could have been a Police van? there a bit reckless on occassions!
[quote][p][bold]Golum[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Floflo[/bold] wrote: Hope they find the driver. A hit and run where someone's life is at risk is a big deal.[/p][/quote]That is his word. He just proberbly fell off and blamed a van. A white van with red writing, not many of then about is there![/p][/quote]Do you reckon it could have been a Police van? there a bit reckless on occassions! bluealice
  • Score: 0

2:24pm Thu 7 Jan 10

wallingford1 says...

Lucky man and thankfully smart enough to be wearing a lid, unlike most of the numpties skidding about on the ice this morning.
Lucky man and thankfully smart enough to be wearing a lid, unlike most of the numpties skidding about on the ice this morning. wallingford1
  • Score: 0

6:10pm Thu 7 Jan 10

Golum says...

Peter Mcvay wrote:
In all probability he just pulled out onto Woodstock Rd into the path of the van (as nearly all cyclists do when turning left onto a main Rd) and got slammed. In which case he should be paying for any damage to the van, and charged for dangerous driving. I guess the reason the driver did not stop, is that in any accident involving the silent menace, the driver is always assumed to be guilty by plod, before they find out the facts, and will suffer great inconvenience before the facts are known. Whether right or wrong this will happen more and more until cyclists accept their responsibility on the road, admit fault in accidents, and generally realise that they are not the saviours of this earth.
They should all have insurance for bikes as well, but I would take great pleasure in suing one for damaging my property.
[quote][p][bold]Peter Mcvay[/bold] wrote: In all probability he just pulled out onto Woodstock Rd into the path of the van (as nearly all cyclists do when turning left onto a main Rd) and got slammed. In which case he should be paying for any damage to the van, and charged for dangerous driving. I guess the reason the driver did not stop, is that in any accident involving the silent menace, the driver is always assumed to be guilty by plod, before they find out the facts, and will suffer great inconvenience before the facts are known. Whether right or wrong this will happen more and more until cyclists accept their responsibility on the road, admit fault in accidents, and generally realise that they are not the saviours of this earth.[/p][/quote]They should all have insurance for bikes as well, but I would take great pleasure in suing one for damaging my property. Golum
  • Score: 0

6:16pm Sat 9 Jan 10

Sophia says...

Pete Mcvay

What a spiteful, mean minded and pointless post. Do try to grow up.
Pete Mcvay What a spiteful, mean minded and pointless post. Do try to grow up. Sophia
  • Score: 0

6:27pm Sat 9 Jan 10

Golum says...

Sophia wrote:
Pete Mcvay What a spiteful, mean minded and pointless post. Do try to grow up.
Actually, I think it is a valid statement. It is because it has struck a nerve that you don't like it? Most coffin dodgers at 70 have trouble walking let along riding a bike.
[quote][p][bold]Sophia[/bold] wrote: Pete Mcvay What a spiteful, mean minded and pointless post. Do try to grow up.[/p][/quote]Actually, I think it is a valid statement. It is because it has struck a nerve that you don't like it? Most coffin dodgers at 70 have trouble walking let along riding a bike. Golum
  • Score: 0

11:22pm Sat 9 Jan 10

Peter Mcvay says...

Sophia. Actually I think it is a most VALID post. The amount of times I have had to swerve into the middle of the road to avoid the silent menace pulling out of side roads without giving way are to numerous to mention. If motorists done the same there would be 1,000s of accidents a day and plod would not have enough intention to prosecute forms to cope, but hey, it is only cyclists doing it so lets not worry, and insult anybony that mentions it. In this case the van probably didn't want to swerve out into an oncoming vehicle and the cyclist reaped what he had sowed. P.S. SOPHIA Can you please state what parts of my post are Spiteful, Mean minded, and pointless.
Sophia. Actually I think it is a most VALID post. The amount of times I have had to swerve into the middle of the road to avoid the silent menace pulling out of side roads without giving way are to numerous to mention. If motorists done the same there would be 1,000s of accidents a day and plod would not have enough intention to prosecute forms to cope, but hey, it is only cyclists doing it so lets not worry, and insult anybony that mentions it. In this case the van probably didn't want to swerve out into an oncoming vehicle and the cyclist reaped what he had sowed. P.S. SOPHIA Can you please state what parts of my post are Spiteful, Mean minded, and pointless. Peter Mcvay
  • Score: 0

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