Crash boy’s father in helmet plea
Wednesday 21st August 2013, 4:10PM BST.
A man whose teenage son is in a coma in hospital after a road accident has warned of the dangers of cycling without a helmet.
Ryan Smith, 16, suffered serious brain injuries when he was in collision with a van while cycling to work in Chapel St Leonards, Lincolnshire, on July 22.
The Skegness Grammar School student, from Chapel St Leonards, was not wearing a helmet because he feared he would mess up his hair.
The teenager, a keen sportsman who was the Paralympics Ambassador for his school, has been in a coma at the Pilgrim Hospital in Boston since the crash.
He was due to collect his GCSE results tomorrow and was hoping to go on to study for his A-levels.
His father, Mark Smith, a paramedic, is now urging every cyclist to wear a helmet.
Mr Smith told the Lincolnshire Echo: “I always wear a helmet, I always told Ryan to wear a helmet but he is 16, his hair is his life, and sadly he has the ‘not going to happen to me’ attitude, but in a click of your fingers our family’s life has changed permanently.”
The 44-year-old added: “We don’t know yet how much of our son we are going to get back, we will never know if a helmet would have saved him, but I don’t want another parent to take that chance.”
Mr Smith has organised a bike ride on September 8 to highlight the importance of wearing a helmet. Proceeds from the event will go to charity.
A Ryan Smith Foundation page has also been set up on Facebook to raise awareness of bicycle safety.