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Home   Tenterden   News   Article

St Michael's hit-and-run victim Vernon Reeve amazed to survive head-on crash on Triumph motorbike in High Halden

10 July 2014
by Tricia Jamieson

"I kissed goodbye to my bike and myself," said the 71-year-old. "I was so surprised to find myself alive and lying in the road behind the car."

Pensioner Vernon Reeve’s damaged Triumph motorcycle

Pensioner Vernon Reeve's damaged Triumph motorcycle

Police are trying to trace the driver of the car, thought to be an Audi A4, which sped off.

Mr Reeve, a retired carpenter and joiner, of Leslie Crescent, St Michael's, was riding his motorcycle home.

"I saw these headlights coming towards me on my side of the road and I had no time to avoid them..." - Vernon Reeve

He was passing The Chequers on the Green pub when the crash happened at 9.50pm last Thursday.

"I saw these headlights coming towards me on my side of the road and I had no time to avoid them," he said. "The car was about 12 feet from me.

"I crashed head-on into the car, was thrown forward over the bonnet and rolled over the roof and fell into the road behind it.

"Some self preservation instinct made me move as best I could onto the pavement.

"The car reversed towards me, which I think was to get free from my bike, turned off its lights and raced off down Church Hill opposite the pub."

Motorcyclist Vernon Reeve was the victim of a hit-and-run driver

Motorcyclist Vernon Reeve was the victim of a hit-and-run driver

Customers from The Chequers came to Mr Reeve's help. He was taken to hospital by ambulance but discharged after a few hours.

"I have scratches, bruises and scuffs," he said. "I just want the driver to know the gravity of what he did and the seriousness of leaving someone lying in the road.

"I could have been desperately injured. It is despicable to drive away from an accident like that.

"My bike was my pride and joy and it is wrecked. I just hope it can be repaired."

Mr Reeve faces paying around £600 to replace his helmet and padding in his bike suit, which his insurance company has advised him to do.

He returned to motorcycle riding after a 40-year break in 2007. On the evening of the accident, he had been out riding with other Triumph owners.

The car that hit him might be silver and would have front-end damage.

A police spokesman said the inquiries to trace the driver were continuing.

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