Runner’s anger after pavement fall injury
10:00am Wednesday 6th March 2013 in News
A LEADER of a Penarth running group has criticised the state of pavements in the town after she was left bruised and bloodied following a fall.
Ruth Smith had been leading a half marathon training session with Women Running Penarth when she tripped on a loose slab and slammed face first into the pavement on Redlands Road.
She was temporarily knocked unconscious in the incident on Sunday, February 17, and suffered cuts and bruising to her knees and legs.
A personal assistant at Capital Law in Cardiff, Ruth also said several other members of the group had fallen while running around Penarth and called local pavements the worst she had seen.
She said: “The pavements are a disgrace in Penarth – this is not the first time one of our members has fallen, but this is the worst injury.
“Had it been a child or elderly person they may not have survived such an accident”.
Ruth ended up in A&E for five hours afterwards, and work colleagues were shocked by the bruising on her face.
“I feel embarrassed around work colleagues and have been avoiding people,” she added. “Having to recount to explain the incident over and over brings it all back time and again”.
She also said she was still suffering from severe headaches and nausea almost a week later.
“I just want the local authority to do their job to ensure no-one else gets hurt like I have been,” she added.
A member of Women Running Penarth for three years, Ruth said she had no idea when she would feel ready to pull on her running shoes again.
“There is nothing I love more but I can’t even bear the thought of running again for a while,” she said.
“I am still very shaken up.”
“I hope it doesn’t put anyone off running but the pavements in Penarth aren’t safe.”
Women Running Penarth chairwoman, Erika Fitzgibbon, said she hoped the Vale of Glamorgan Council would look at the unevenness of pavements around the town following this nasty accident.
“I understand the council has lots of demands on its money,” she said. “I recognise that they are providing the community with great new facilities, like the cycle path in Cogan, but I hope the pavements are something they will look at again – not just for runners, but for pedestrians as well.
“All our leaders are well trained by UK Athletics and are aware of safety precautions, and of course, accidents do happen, but this was particularly nasty, and avoidable.”
Andrew Loosemore, operational manager for highways and engineering at the Vale council, said: “We are very sorry to hear of this unfortunate incident and wish a speedy recovery to the person involved.
“The council inspects all pavements on a regular basis, identifying and categorising for repair any defects that require attention.
Unfortunately, defects can appear inbetween inspections and we will attend to these if reported or become known to us.
“No specific location details have been provided for this incident, so I am unable to comment further.
However, it should be noted that minor undulations in particularly older pavements can occur without there necessarily being a tripping hazard.
“We will of course undertake further inspections if the location of this incident can be provided.”