A cyclist was thrown over his handle bars after running over a squirrel at 35mph.
Tim Egerton, 58, was riding down a steep hill in Oakworth, West Yorkshire, when the squirrel suddenly ran out.
The sales rep smashed his face on the road, knocking him out cold and fracturing his cheek in two places.
Onlookers came to Tim’s aide and he was rushed to Airedale General Hospital, where surgeons repaired his damaged cheekbone with a titanium plate.
‘The last thing I remember is riding down the hill and then coming round in the back of an ambulance,’ Tim said. ‘The bit in the middle is a blank.’
The poor squirrel didn’t stand a chance and was killed instantly by Tim’s £3,500 road bike.
Tim added: ‘I have found grey fur trapped between my tyre and wheel rim.’
His injuries could have been far worse had it not been for his helmet, with Tim under doctor’s orders not to ride for the next six weeks.
‘The Yorkshire Air Ambulance landed to pick me up, but I went to hospital in a road ambulance, I was disappointed I didn’t get a go in the helicopter,’ Tim joked.
‘I’m so grateful for all the help people gave me and I can’t thank them enough for their kindness.
‘Of all my years of cycling it is a tangle with a squirrel that has caused me my most serious accident.’
Claire Scott was one of the onlookers who helped Tim until paramedics arrived.
She said: ’Bloody squirrel, it was a chunky one and ran straight across [the] road at that moment you were passing, how unlucky.
‘If you had been [a] few seconds earlier or later you would have missed it.’
Tim was training for The Struggle – a gruelling 108-mile race around Harrogate – when the accident happened.
‘My accident means I missed the race, but I’ll be there next year,’ he promised.
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