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A CYCLIST was rescued by strangers as he lay unconscious in the middle of the road after he hit a wild animal on his journey home.

Thad O’Higgins, 41, of Godstow Close, was cycling along Sandford Lane in Woodley on the evening of Friday, March 6 when something jumped out in front of him and he was thrown from his bike.

An avid cyclist, Mr O’Higgins had caught a train home from Paddington and got off at the first stop to cycle the rest of the way back to Woodley.

He said: “I knew which train I had caught so I guess I was on Sandford Lane at about 7pm.

“I don’t really know what happened. I think an animal was involved. I think maybe a fox came out from the hedge on the right-hand side and ran straight in front of my front wheel and that is the last thing I remember.”

Stuart Johnson from the Loddon District Explorer Scouts, had seen the commotion as he was preparing for an explorer site evening.

The 25-year-old electrician ran out to see if he could help, along with his friend Neil Graham.

He said: “We heard an ambulance in the distance, and I said to Neil, 'I bet that is for this’. We rushed out because, as we are heavily first aid trained, we thought we might be able to do something. It felt right to stop and help.”

When they arrived at the scene Mr O’Higgins was already surrounded by three or four people who had got out of their cars. One lady was holding Mr O’Higgins’ head in her lap.

Mr Johnson said: “He was conscious but when he was talking he was not making any sense at all.”

In his semi-conscious state, Mr O’Higgins asked paramedics to take his bike with him in the ambulance.

Mr Johnson found the bike at the side of the road, and decided to look after it. He placed his card inside Mr O’Higgins’ rucksack so that he could get in touch when he came out of hospital.

Mr O’Higgins is currently recovering at home from cuts, bruises and concussion.

The father-of-one, a planner who works in London, said: “I just want to thank everyone and say that life is not all doom and gloom and spread some positivity for a change. There must have been a dozen people — I have no idea who they are — but they decided to make sure I got home OK after my accident.

“I’m looking forward to going back to work. You just feel you are missing out on the world. The doctor signed me off but I should be back on Monday next week.”

Meanwhile, the accident has not deterred him from cycling.

He said: “I cannot wait to get back on my bike. The bike is still at the repairers to be checked over but it is all right because I have another three bikes — so there’s no shortage.”