A SIX-YEAR-OLD girl suffered horrific injuries after she was mown down by a hit-and-run adult cyclist on New Brighton promenade.
Liberty Dempsey from Wallasey underwent hours of painful surgery for a broken leg following the incident, which happened near the lifeguard tower on King’s Parade at around 6.30pm on Thursday.
She spent four days in a children’s ward at Arrowe Park Hospital following surgery to repair the tibula and fibula in her left leg.
Nails and rods were placed in her leg to try and heal the bones, which had been pushed to one side because of the force of the collision, and the youngster remains traumatised by what happened.
The incident has also left her seven-year-old sister Honor having nightmares and caused enormous stress for her 39-weeks pregnant mum Verity and dad Jamie.
According to Jamie, the cyclist just quickly asked how Liberty was before popping on his earphones and shades and cycling away.
It is believed the man was outside the cycle lane at the time of the incident.
A nurse came to the family’s aid and patched up some of the bleeding, and Liberty was taken to hospital.
She will now spend the next eight weeks in a plaster cast, is confined to a wheelchair and has bruises to her leg and elbow.
Jamie has written to the council’s director of technical services, David Green, calling for the cycle lane to be removed from the footpath along the seawall and placed on the opposite side of the road or within one of the two lanes of the road.
He told the Globe: “I hope that the council will listen to my plea and do something about this situation.
"You should be able to go out for a walk along the promenade without fearing that a cyclist will whiz past and knock you down.
"It's not as though cyclists need to be able to have a nice view - they should be concentrating on where they're going.
“I’m worried that this could happen again and that next time it could be an old person who is knocked down.
"If the cyclist was to have hit my pregnant wife or a newborn Baby
in a pushchair it is terrifying to think of the outcome.”
A petition called "After Liberty's accident, let’s get the cycle lanes moved" has been placed by Verity on the social networking site Facebook and had more than 80 signatures within hours of going online.
Jamie, who works as a technician at Arrowe Park Hospital, said: “I’m extremely angry about this and don’t know what I’d say to the person who did this, but I know it wouldn’t be nice.
“If I’d knocked someone down, I’d feel bad and would stop and help her. I’d also leave my contact details.”
Asked how she felt about the incident, Liberty, who attends St George’s Primary School in Wallasey, replied: “It was not nice and I'm very cross.”
Recalling Thursday’s events, Jamie said: “I went to my car to get a drink for my daughters as they were very warm from the walk. I then heard a scream.
“On turning round all I could see was a man aged 35-40 on the floor and my six-year-old daughter underneath his bike and not within the cycle lane.
“I had no idea how badly injured she was as I had only just picked her up off the floor. As I looked up again the man was cycling away from the accident without a care in the world.”
A council spokesman said: “We are aware of the incident which was reported to our Streetscene team and wish the little girl a fast recovery.
“We have spoken to Mr. Dempsey and it appears that the cyclist was not in the designated cycle lane. We are currently investigating this accident and will be liaising with Merseyside Police who are looking into this incident.
“The cycle lane at New Brighton is a popular, recognised route used by families and young children on bikes.
"The route is clearly marked and signposted and the promenade is wider than the recommended guidelines for shared cycling and pedestrian facilities.
“There are many such facilities across the country where both walkers and cyclists can enjoy the beauties of their coast or countryside.
“A defined cycleway provides segregation between walkers and cyclists. Removal of such facilities could increase the risk of collision where cyclists are riding on pavements.
“Unfortunately, drivers of both motorised vehicles and bicycles, on and off-road, can put other people at risk if they do not drive responsibly.
"The solution is not necessarily to remove facilities that are put in to help, but to try and ensure that people use them and drive safely.
“As the summer months approach we would like to remind both cyclists and pedestrians to pay extra attention when using the promenade.
"Ideally cyclists should give way to pedestrians on the cycle paths.
"Pedestrians when crossing the cycle path should cross with the same care and attention as crossing the road.”
A police spokesman said: “At the moment we are trying to see if an offence has been committed, because there is no cctv
footage available from the area.
“We are trying to piece together what has happened and would like the cyclist to get in touch, to help us with our inquiries, by calling 709 6010 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”