A three-year-old has been left ‘shaken’ after he was hit by a cyclist in Horsham town centre.
Aiden Shopland, from Southwater, was left shocked and with a nasty gash on his head after being knocked down by a speeding cyclist in West Street on Saturday August 16.
This week, his parents Darren and Emma said they could not believe what had happened and the family has been left ‘distressed’ by the incident.
Darren said: “Emma was in the hair dressers. We went out to meet her and came out from Swan Walk. This bike came flying down the high street towards us and knocked Aiden over. He was lying on the floor screaming.”
Darren then took his son to meet Emma at Toni and Guy and that was when they both realised the damage that had been done.
“They came in and I just saw in the mirror my son with blood all over his face,” Emma said. “The Toni and Guy staff were extremely helpful and helped my husband calm him down and try to stop him going into shock. My son was badly shaken by the incident. As you can imagine this caused us great distress.”
The injuries have not only left Aiden with a scar on his head but have also left him fearing any cyclist that rides past.
“He freaks out every time he sees a cyclist,” Darren said. “Every time he saw a cyclist on holiday he would grab my leg.”
“It sort of ruined the start of our holiday.”
Emma added: “He was never one to run about and would always come back if he was called. Now he walks holding our hands and he won’t let go.”
Aiden’s sister Kayley Shopland,13, said: “It shocked me when I first saw him. We were in the car and I was with my Granddad. We were just shaking and crying and started panicking thinking ‘Are you all right? What happened?’.”
This is not the first incident in the town centre involving a cyclist.
Last year a pensioner spent the summer in hospital after tripping up trying to avoid a cyclist.
In a statement, West Sussex County Council, which is responsible for cycling in the town centre, confirmed that cycling in West Street is ‘Prohibited’.
Horsham District Council reinstated signs earlier this month to reinforce this message for people tempted to cycle in the area.
“More people need to know that there is no cycling in the town centre,” Emma said. “We have spoken to people and some have said you are allowed to cycle at certain times and others say you are not allowed to cycle in trading hours. It needs to be clearer that there is no cycling at all.
“It could have been a lot worse. He is three and he is very good on his feet. But if it was a one and a half year old or an elderly person it could have been a lot worse and possibly fatal.”