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Herne Bay Tesco worker Angie Winterton needed 30 stitches after fall on to beach near Tankerton

By Aidan Barlow

A woman has told how she has been left eating with a baby spoon after suffering horrific facial injuries in a terrifying fall from her bike.

Angie Winterton, 46, was cycling along the promenade between Tankerton and Herne Bay when she slipped in the rain and plunged 5ft onto the pebble beach below.

She was rushed to hospital to see a facial reconstruction specialist and needed 30 stitches to her wounds.

Angie Winterton from Selsey Avenue, Herne Bay, who injured her face falling off of her bike

Angie, who works at Tesco in Sea Street, was riding in rainy conditions when she approached the sharp bend between Tankerton and Studd Hill, but couldn’t stop before falling off.

She said: “I always find it a bit dodgy cycling round that bend. It was raining and I had some water in my glasses, so maybe I couldn’t see properly.

“I must have misjudged it and gone off the edge. I was very shocked and fell full force on my face.

“I still remember jumping up and thinking ‘oh god’. Darren gave me his t-shirt, and we walked to the caravan park to wait for the paramedic.

“They realised how bad it was and took me to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford to see a facial reconstruction specialist.

“I’ve been left unable to talk or eat very much, I’ve been eating things through a baby spoon and drinking through a straw.”

Partner Darren Parker was cycling with her at the time of the accident. He said: “It was horrific. She had sliced open her lip and gone face first into the sharp sea shells, pebbles, seaweed and everything. Luckily none of her nerve endings were severed.”

“I’ve been left unable to talk or eat very much, I’ve been eating things through a baby spoon and drinking through a straw" - Angie Winterton

He added that he has now asked Kent Highways to put in more warning signs and a new railing in order to stop a similar accident happening again.

He said: “It’s a very busy bend with dogs, people running and walking, and cycling. The highway people said they have insufficient funds to do anything about it.

“But I said Angie has suffered a severe injury, next time it could be a fatal injury. What happens if it had been a rock at the bottom of the drop? Or if she had hit the beach with her temple?”

“We’re up and down that stretch very often anyway but what about someone visiting for the first time? Going out to Tankerton is fine because there is a barrier and a warning.

“But coming back the other way there are no signs, no barriers, nothing, and the drop is even bigger.”

Canterbury City Council spokesman Robert Davies said: “We’re concerned to hear about this incident and wish Angie Winterton a speedy recovery from her injuries.

“We will go and visit the location and see whether any improvements could be made.”

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