Drunk driver jailed for hitting Paralympian

A drunk driver who ploughed into a Paralympic cyclist out on a training ride has been jailed for dangerous driving.

Drunk driver jailed for hitting Paralympian

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Edgar Howell Adams drove into Beijing gold medallist Simon Richardson on the A48 in Bridgend last August, sending him soaring 85ft into the air and injuring him so badly that he is unable to compete in the Paralympics even a year later.

Adams, a 60-year-old farmer from Crowbridge, was given an 18-month sentence.

Cardiff Crown Court heard that Adams had been drinking the night before the accident, and on waking up the next day had his first whisky at 6am. He set off in his Peugeot at 8.45am that day with the accident coming soon after, and when police tracked him down to breathalyse him at midday he was still twice the legal limit.

He stopped briefly after hitting 44-year-old Richardson but pulled away again when he saw that another motorist was coming to the Paralympian's aid and attempted to hide his van on his farm. Police located it using a helicopter.

But Richardson - who won two golds and a silver in the velodrome in Beijing - claims he bears no ill will despite the fact that he had been cycling safely, close to the kerb and wearing high visibility gear.

"I would have been happy whatever sentence he got - even if he walked free," he said.

"At the end of the day, it was just an accident and he did not deliberately set out to knock me down.

"But it is important that a precedent has been set - that not only should a person be charged with excess alcohol but it also qualifies as dangerous driving."

Richardson, who was involved in a car accident in 2001 that left him with serious leg and back injuries and no feeling down his left-hand side, needs more surgery before he can return to competitive action - but he is determined to get his sporting career back on track.

"I fully intend to battle my way back to elite competitive sport when I am fully recuperated," the father of two said. "It's now all about moving on."

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