‘Does a rider have to die?’ No police case after rider dragged along the road by car roof rack

  • A para rider who was dragged along the road by the roof rack of a car that failed to slow down has asked whether a rider has to die before authorities take action.

    Susi Rogers-Hartley suffered concussion, chipped bones and joint damage in the incident, on 12 April, and is still terrified to hack out in case she has a similar experience.

    She told H&H she and her horse Summer were almost back home, on a single-track lane, when she heard the car “roaring” up behind her.

    “He was tailgating me, and gesticulating,” she said. “I turned left and he was right behind me. I asked him to wait as I was so nearly at the gate and he said: ‘No, I’m coming through’. And he did.”

    The driver “barged” past, trapping Susi’s leg between the car and Summer.

    “He was that close, I had nowhere to go,” she said. “My horse started to bolt, and the car picked up speed. As I fell, I grabbed the roof rack as a reflex; if I hadn’t, I’d have ended up under his back wheels, but the car dragged me a further 20 metres before it stopped.

    “When it did, he got out and stood there, hands in pockets, saying ‘What are you doing there? I’ve got to get through and you’re blocking the road’. He was very cold, collected and measured.

    “He said ‘You hit my car’ but it was my head that hit it, and bounced off the road as I fell. He could have killed us both.”

    Susi, who is a wheelchair user as a result of a spinal injury she suffered while in the Navy over 20 years ago, had hit her head in the fall so was still lying in the road. A neighbour caught Summer, who was unhurt but had stayed with her owner, while Susi called the police.

    She was taken to hospital and police later took a statement on the incident.

    “Because there were no independent witnesses, no action was taken,” she said. “Even though the driver said he gave me two metres and drove on the grass, and the police said if he’d done that, he’d have been in the drainage dyke.

    “The whole ordeal was so traumatic and the injustice is staggering. What’s going to stop that driver doing it again?”

    Susi is having psychotherapy, and still suffers with headaches as a result of the fall, but is concerned about herself and other riders in future.

    Continues below…

    “Will it take a death?” she asked. “What will it take for the police and justice system to make these roads safe? What if that had been a pedestrian, or a group of children?

    “I’m a para rider and have achieved so much; being on a horse is my lifeline and my escape from the wheelchair, and I feel this driver has taken that from me as well.

    “I don’t know if it’s the police that’s the problem or if their hands are tied but it feels like no one is interested in us, no one cares. Our lives don’t matter.”

    A spokesman for Norfolk Constabulary said: “Police were called after an incident involving a car passing a horse rider in King’s Lynn where the rider fell as the car passed.

    “The incident happened on Common Road, Wiggenhall Street in King’s Lynn on 16 April 2021 at around 12.30pm.

    “The matter has been investigated and closed pending further investigative opportunities.”

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