A man whose teenage son is in a coma following a road accident has warned of the dangers of cycling without a helmet.
Ryan Smith, 16, suffered serious brain injuries when he was in collision with a van while cycling to his summer holiday job in Chapel St Leonards, Lincolnshire.
The Skegness Grammar School pupil was apparently not wearing a helmet because he did not want to mess up his hair.
Cycling accident ‘changed life’
The teenager, a keen sportsman who was the Paralympics Ambassador for his school, has been in a coma at the Pilgrim Hospital in Boston since the cycling accident on July 22.
He was due to collect his GCSE results on Thursday and was hoping to go on to do A-levels.
His devastated father Mark is now urging every cyclist to wear a helmet.
Mr Smith, a paramedic, told the Lincolnshire Echo: “I always wear a helmet, I always told Ryan to wear a helmet but he is 16, his hair is his life and sadly he has the ‘not going to happen to me’ attitude, but in a click of your fingers our family’s life has changed permanently.”
The 44-year-old added: “We don’t know yet how much of our son we are going to get back, we will never know if a helmet would have saved him, but I don’t want another parent to take that chance.”
Charity bike ride planned
Mr Smith has organised a bike ride on September 8 to highlight the importance of wearing a helmet, with proceeds from the event going to charity.
A Ryan Smith Foundation page has also been set up on Facebook to raise awareness of bicycle safety.
Source: Daily Mail