Emma Way: Cyclist tweet 'my biggest mistake'

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Media caption,

Emma Way told the BBC in May this year that her tweet was "stupid"

A woman who took to Twitter to say she had knocked a cyclist off his bike has described it as the "biggest mistake of my life".

Emma Way, 21, told the BBC she made the "stupid" comment on the "spur of the moment" after an incident in Norfolk on Sunday.

Toby Hockley said he was thrown into a hedge and was "lucky to be alive".

Miss Way, who disputes Mr Hockley's version of events, has been suspended from her job as a trainee accountant.

Mr Hockley, a member of Iceni Velo cycling club, said he was nearing the end of the Boudicca Sportive 100-mile ride when a car came towards him at speed on the wrong side of a narrow country lane.

'People judging me'

The car's wing mirror clipped him and he was launched from the bike into a hedge, he said.

Image caption,
Toby Hockley (centre) was taking part in the Boudicca Sportive 100-mile ride

Mr Hockley, a 29-year-old chef, described it as a "close call" and was amazed the driver did not stop.

Later that morning, Miss Way's tweet read: "Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier. I have right of way - he doesn't even pay road tax!"

The comment included the hashtag #Bloodycyclists.

It was retweeted several hundred times and led to what a tearful Miss Way described as the public "judging me on one man's side of the story".

"I would like to say my side of the story so maybe they can see where I'm coming from here," she told BBC Radio Norfolk.

"He [Mr Hockley] and another cyclist were coming down the hill at quite a speed.

"He came on to my side of the road. I pulled to the left as quickly as I could. He was right in front me.

"I felt his handlebar just clip my wing mirror and my initial reaction was to brake, stop and look in the mirror.

"He did wobble slightly but he was upright, he was fine.

"I didn't just leave the scene, because there wasn't a scene."

'Quite horrendous'

She agreed that she regretted her "stupid, immature, spur-of-the-moment" tweet and said she could only blame herself for the reaction it caused.

"The tweet and the incident are completely different, it doesn't relate to the accident," she said.

Image caption,
Toby Hockley said he had not intended to report the crash until he read Twitter

"The media has made it worse than it actually is. Everyone makes mistakes and it's the biggest mistake of my life.

"It's quite horrendous, the thoughts people have of me when they don't know me.

"I don't really see I was in the wrong. If I had been in a bad accident I would have stopped.

"If I have hurt him then I am sorry. I am not against cyclists at all."

Accountants Larking Gowen said it did not condone employee Miss Way's tweet from her personal Twitter account and was carrying out an investigation.

Norfolk Police are investigating the road incident.

Mr Hockley declined to comment further when contacted by the BBC.

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