A GREAT Harwood pensioner has spoken of his horror at seeing three of his closes friends mowed down by a car while on a cycling holiday in Italy.
Keen cyclist Harry Haseley, 67, was on a week long cycling tour of Tuscany with five of his closest friends when the accident happened last week.
Harry, of Ash Lane, Great Harwood, and his friends Randall Davis, Dave Heppenstall, Ian Wilcock, Bob Mathews and Michael Cox, are all members of the North Lancashire Cycling Club and often go abroad together cycling.
Speaking from his home after returning from Italy on Monday, Harry said: "We had just embarked on a 110km trek to Siena when the accident happened.
"We were cycling in a line of six, when two cars tried to pass us. Instantly I knew something was wrong when one began to swerve and ploughed into the other.
"The next few moments happened really quickly, but Bob and Randall were thrown from their bikes into a ditch and Dave was catapulted 20 yards into a nearby field.
"The wreckage of the crash was awful, luckily I wasn’t fast enough to be heading up our pack and had missed the effects of the crash. When I stopped I was convinced I had lost three of my buddies."
However, luckily all three of the cyclist were alive and had relatively minor injuries.
The ambulance service and police were called and the road was blocked off for a number of hours.
Harry said: "It really was a miracle anyone walked away from this crash. If you had seen it unfold you would have been convinced nobody would have survived.
"I put the crash down to bad driving and a lack of concentration on the part of the drivers. The roads over there are much worse than here."
Amazingly, Dave, 66, of Westwood Avenue, Rishton, and Bob, 54, from Burnley, were able able to walk away from the crash with just cuts and bruises.
While Randall, 68, of Edge Side, Great Harwood damaged his back in the accident and was fitted with a back brace to travel home. He is currently receiving more medical attention in Lancashire.
Harry added: "We are all really shook up after what happened, it is hard to see anything happen to your friends.