Beccles man Shaun Crowley suffers horrific injuries in Loddon cycle crash

Shaun Crowley in hospital after being involved in a collision.

Shaun Crowley in hospital after being involved in a collision. - Credit: Archant

A Beccles man who suffered horrific injuries after being involved in a collision on his bicycle in Loddon has thanked well-wishers for their hundreds of messages of support after undergoing a major operation.

Shaun Crowley, who is well-known in the town as a director and volunteer at Beccles Lido, was due to represent Great Britain in the long distance duathlon European championships in Copenhagen on Sunday, and was on his way to get his bike checked over when the collision happened.

Speaking from his hospital bed, Mr Crowley, 56, said the messages of support were keeping him going.

The incident happened in Loddon at about 4.25pm last Friday in Bridge Street at the junction with George Lane, when a red Renault Megane was in collision with Mr Crowley on his black Boardman bicycle.

He said: 'I flew over the top of my handlebars and landed on my face. I lost four teeth and my helmet was completely written off but it saved my head.

'Two ladies held my hands and one lady held my neck stable and wouldn't let anyone take my helmet off. It was really comforting to have them there.'

Mr Crowley was taken by ambulance to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's intensive care unit.

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Following CT and MRI scans he was found to have six fractured ribs, a punctured lung, and fractured vertebrae in his neck and back.

He underwent an operation to have titanium rods put into his back to stabilise the fractures.

He said: 'I feel like I've had a good beating up.

'At the moment I have good days and bad days. They are in the very early stages of trying to work out to what extent my recovery will be complete or incomplete.

'But whatever way you look at it, this is going to be life changing.'

The father-of-two, who took part in 10 triathlons all over the UK and Europe last year, was due to fly out to Denmark yesterday but has had to resign from the race as well as other events lined up for the rest of the year.

'It is really disappointing,' said Mr Crowley. 'I was representing Great Britain for my age category and was doing it for Beccles too.

'I was taking part in the Beccles Triathlon in June and my big race of the season was the Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl ETU Middle Distance Triathlon European Championships in Austria in September. All of my training over the winter was aimed at being at my peak for that.

'At the moment I am being told that there is a zero percent chance of me taking part.

'But as my surgeon said, I am lucky because if it was any different I wouldn't be talking about when I recover I would be talking about never doing it again.'

Mr Crowley, who is chief executive of Beccles Lido Limited, said the team would be continuing to get the pool ready for the opening later this month, but was sad he would not be able to help.

It is still unclear how long he will be kept in hospital.

He said: 'I have had hundreds of messages on Facebook, some of deep sympathy and some which are very humorous. And it's those messages that are keeping me going - particularly the funny ones!

'I would like to thank everyone for their support and anyone who would like to help get the lido ready in my place would be welcome. We always need volunteers.

'I also want to encourage any witnesses to get in touch with the police and help them with their enquiries.'

Anyone with information about the collision should contact PC Greg Prowting at Wymondham Roads Policing on 101.

To volunteer at Beccles Lido email