Cyclist left to dead by hit-and-run driver completes challenge from John O'Groats to Lands End

·2-min read

A cyclist who was left to dead by a drunk hit-and-run driver midway through his trek from John O'Groats to Lands End, has completed the journey after learning how to rewalk.

Jean-Pierre 'JP' de Villiers, 39, had to relearn how to walk after the incident left him with two shattered legs, a fractured arm, punctured lung, bowel and heart trauma.

The motivational speaker from Welton, Northamptonshire, was 880 miles into the 1,000 mile cycling challenge when he was mowed down by a disqualified driver in a stolen car on a main road outside Combe Martin, North Devon on 22 May 2019.

Hit with such force, JP was found by locals at a nearby holiday camp wedged between a tree and a the barrier at the side of the road with his bike shattered to pieces. 

Screaming in pain, locals phoned emergency services where JP was airlifted to hospital and put on a life-support machine for 15 days. 

Metal plates were fitted into JP's legs and right arm in addition to a metal rod attached to his right hip down to his knee. 

Miraculously he defied doctors by learning to walk again just under a month after the accident with the help of physiotherapists. 

Last month JP, originally from South Africa, returned to the crash site and finally finished the cycle challenge he had first set about completing.

JP said: "For me, this was a life changing experience, but I am grateful to be alive.

"It just doesn't seem real that it happened. 

"Because of my job as a mindset coach I never thought 'Why me?' and feel sorry for myself. 

"It is what it is and I used it as fuel to practice gratitude and drive me to the goal.

"Of course it wasn't plain sailing. I suffer from PTSD from the accident and I felt like I lost who I was. 

"But I was determined to finish it. 

"As soon as I woke up from intensive care I knew I was going to finish it.

"Because of the pandemic I had to push it back so I've been itching to go out and do it. 

"I called up the campsite which phoned emergency services when I was knocked off. 

"It's something I've had unticked for two years.

"I'm so happy and proud I was able to finally do it."

Wife Jules Cameron De Villiers, 3

Pensioner Stephen Evans, 70, was four times over the drink-drive limit when he hit JP. 

He was given a 24-month sentence last year and a ten-year driving ban. 

During the trial at Exeter Crown Court the jury was told Evans was so drunk police found him collapsed in an alleyway shortly after the crash.

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