Injured Ottery worker 'lucky to be alive' as police hunt motorist

PUBLISHED: 16:39 31 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:17 18 June 2010

AN INJURED Ottery café worker, who says he is lucky to be alive , has backed a police hunt for a motorist who fled the scene after an accident near Tipton St John on Sunday morning.

AN INJURED Ottery café worker, who says he is "lucky to be alive", has backed a police hunt for a motorist who fled the scene after an accident near Tipton St John on Sunday morning.

Bruised Barry Mitchell, 23, an Otter Nurseries employee, was this week left nursing a broken shoulder and damaged knee cap after coming off his motorbike when forced to slam on his breaks as a silver estate car pulled out in front of him at Tipton Cross on the B3176.

Police want to find the driver, an elderly man, who they said initially got out of his vehicle but, having failed to put his handbrake on, saw the car roll back into a Mini Cooper behind it. It is claimed he then fled the scene.

Officers hope the female driver of the cream coloured Mini with black stripes on its bonnet, and any other witnesses will come forward with vital information.

Sidmouth resident Barry, who was wearing a high visibility jacket, was heading to work at around 10.15am when the incident happened in a "split second".

He said: "The car pulled out and stopped dead in the middle of the road, I just don't see why he stopped. I Panicked- I was afraid I was going to hit it and began to brake but must have hit something, my bike left from underneath me.

"The bloke got out to see if I was ok, then he noticed his handbrake was off and didn't even wait for an answer-he was more worried about his car and then got in and drove off.

"I got my bike, calmed myself down and didn't think I was hurt but then the pain really started.

Barry then endured a four-hour hospital stint as doctors confirmed his shoulder was broken. He will have to wait until Monday for specialists to diagnose the extent of his injury and how long it will take him to recover.

He said: "I have only been working at Otter Nurseries for two months and had waited ages to get the job. There is about £700 of damage to my bike as well as my loss of earnings. The hospital said it could be around three weeks before I can go back. I'm in pain but I do feel lucky, It could have been a lot worse.

A police spokeswoman said: "This driver's actions on the road have caused an accident that could have been a lot more serious than it was. ."

Contact Ottery St Mary police with information on 08452 777444. Crime Reference: 715-24/05/09.


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