'Car versus cyclist': Kiwi teenager's life devastated by driver who failed to stop at intersection

A once-promising cyclist who suffered a life-altering brain injury after a driver failed to stop at an intersection has made a heartfelt plea to drivers.  

Cameron was just 18 years old when he chose not to drive past his curfew on October 26, 2018, instead taking out his bike and donning full safety gear, lights and a helmet.

"My husband got the call, and he said, 'Cameron has been hurt in an accident... on his bike, he has been hit'," said his mother, Yvette. 

"They said Cameron had minutes to get to surgery, or he would die... they wouldn't let me see him, and I literally begged them. 

"If my son was going to die, he had to know his mum loved him."

Constable Valerie Kent responded to the report of "a car versus cyclist" crash that night. 

"He had been riding down the hill... but he'd been thrown up into the air and onto the other side of the road... and then a car coming up the hill had run him over, as well," said Kent.

Doctors gave Cameron a one percent chance of survival.


"They listed all the broken things but they said that was the least of our worries... Cameron has been left with a serious, traumatic brain injury," said Yvette.

"People with brain injuries have a post-traumatic amnesia. Beyond seven days of amnesia, it's deemed very serious... Cameron was in that for 84 days."

The 26-year-old driver who failed to stop at the stop sign was convicted of careless driving causing injury. He was disqualified from driving for eight months and fined $1000. 

However, Cameron's life will never be the same.

"One moment in time changed my life forever," said the teen, who has since learned how to swallow, walk and talk again.

"I could tell you how my body has changed so much... how I am so proud of myself because I can now catch myself tripping. I could tell you about the difficulty of putting my socks on, how my feet hurt, my back hurts, my head hurts. 

"But most of all, my heart hurts."

Yvette shared how proud she is of her son and his recovery so far.

"To see you get so exhausted all the time... to have to learn to swallow and talk, raise your arm, and walk... it was all you. I am so proud of you," she told her son.

"That one moment in time changed not only Cameron's life, but Cameron was also run over by the second car. If he'd taken that moment to stop, Cameron's life would have been very different to what it is now. So please, stop." 

New Zealand Police shared the family's devastating story to raise awareness about the importance of complying with stop signs alongside the video, which shows footage of Cameron's ongoing recovery.

"A split-second decision behind the wheel can impact so many lives," police captioned the post.

"We hope that his story will encourage all motorists to think about the decisions they make behind the wheel."