Woman in hit and run shares story to raise awareness

A TAMWORTH woman is “lucky to be alive” after she was knocked three metres from her bike and broke four bones in an horrific hit and run last week.

Jeannine Lewis, who remains incapacitated recovering in hospital, is sharing her story to raise awareness on road safety. 

ON THE MEND: Tamworth woman Jeannine Lewis is recovering in hospital after an horrific hit and run last week. She is sharing her story to promote road safety awareness. Photo: Peter Hardin 171016PHD003

ON THE MEND: Tamworth woman Jeannine Lewis is recovering in hospital after an horrific hit and run last week. She is sharing her story to promote road safety awareness. Photo: Peter Hardin 171016PHD003

As police continue to search for the driver who so callously left Ms Lewis on the side of the road, the 53-year-old credits wearing a helmet for saving her life. 

Ms Lewis was on a morning cycle and just 300 metres from her home when a car struck her from behind on Wahroonga Road, Hillvue about 6.30am last Wednesday. 

“I just felt an almighty thud,” she said.

“I realised I’d been hit by a car. I just screamed.

CLOSE CALL: The remains of Jeannine Lewis' helmet that "saved her life" during a hit and run in Tamworth last week.

CLOSE CALL: The remains of Jeannine Lewis' helmet that "saved her life" during a hit and run in Tamworth last week.

“I did hear a car stop and then just heard it accelerate and it just took off.

“I don’t remember hitting the pavement, I don’t remember hitting my head.”

So loud was the thud that neighbours rushed outside to the commotion, where, thankfully, there were onlookers already assisting. 

Ms Lewis was three metres from her bike.

She sustained a shattered tibia and fibula in her right leg, a fractured left ankle and a compression fracture to the T11 vertebrae in her spine.

“I was about three feet from the gutter,” she said.

“I don’t go out on roads, I never assume a car is going to stop for you. 

“I’m very, very lucky.”

Ms Lewis admitted the sun may have impaired the driver’s vision, but it was them failing to stop and help that hurt the most. 

“It’s a pretty cold-hearted thing to do,” she said.

DESTROYED: Jeannine Lewis was found three metres away from her mangled bike after the Wahroonga Road incident.

DESTROYED: Jeannine Lewis was found three metres away from her mangled bike after the Wahroonga Road incident.

“Accidents happen (but) I’d like the person to come forward.

“If the person had stopped at the scene, I wouldn’t be prepared to press charges, so it’d be nice if they came forward.”

Ms Lewis cycles for fitness and leisure, and always wears a helmet and protective clothing.

Police are still appealing for the driver or any witnesses to come forward. 

The vehicle responsible is believed to be a small white car with yellow NSW-registered number plates beginning with BW.

While Ms Lewis’ prognosis is promising, she is pleading with local cyclists to wear a helmet and drivers to take more caution.

“Always be alert,” she warned to riders.

“Don’t assume you’ve always been seen. (My helmet) saved my life.”

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