Injured cyclist tells of brutal hit-and-run smash

George Popp recovers at home. Picture: Jane Barlow
George Popp recovers at home. Picture: Jane Barlow
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A CYCLIST was left hospitalised and suffering from multiple injuries after he was thrown off his bike in a hit-and-run.

George Popp, a former member of the Musselburgh Roads Cycling Club who has previously trained with top cyclist Andy Laing, smashed into the back of a black Ford Focus after it careered out in front of him.

The incident, which happened just after 7pm at the junction of Dalkeith Road and Craigmillar Castle Road, saw the 47-year-old stretchered to hospital as he suffered a host of injuries including whiplash, extensive bruising and a fractured elbow.

Mr Popp said the force of the impact was so powerful he was launched over the car and “bounced” off the road twice before coming to a halt – leaving his helmet cracked in two.

Police are now on the hunt for the driver of the car, who is believed to be male, after he failed to stop following the collision last Monday and sped off in the direction of Craigmillar Castle Road.

Today Mr Popp, a local business owner who restores classic bikes, said the incident was a sign the roads were becoming “more dangerous” for cyclists.

He said: “The car was speeding and didn’t indicate – it just pulled across me. I tried to put my brakes on but I hit the car just past its rear door.

“I was thrown over the back of it and landed on the other side, bouncing off the ground a couple of times. When a car is involved you’re like a human projectile. The bike lost momentum, but I just kept going. My helmet was left cracked up the middle.

“My injuries are akin to doing a bungee jump without the flex in the rope. My body went numb, but my mind was perfectly lucid and I could see the guy speeding off. I was straining to see the licence plate. I could feel everything in my body, but I just couldn’t get up.

“One thing is for sure – the roads are getting dangerous.”

Mr Popp was rushed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and kept in for treatment until the early hours of the morning, and insists the accident has left him struggling to walk.

“I can walk about two and a half meters, but I can’t put my weight on my legs,” he said.

Police Scotland PC Kevin Worrall said he was appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident to come forward to police.

He said: “We know that a witness stopped to speak to the cyclist and had a description of the car, but left the scene before police could speak with him. If you think you are that witness, we would also urge you to contact 
police.”

Today officers said they were also looking for witnesses to a hit-and-run on Great Junction Street last Monday. The incident saw a woman left with a minor injury to her hip after she was clipped by a car while crossing Coburg Street from Great Junction Street.