Rosie Cornwell, 66, and her granddaughter Tasharni, 14.
Rosie Cornwell, 66, and her granddaughter Tasharni, 14. Sarah Steger

Grandma left trapped under bike after hit and run

ROSIE Schwabegger sits hunched over on a grey sofa, her legs dotted in dark bruises and scratches. A cut on her bottom lip stretches open each time she tries to talk, her hazy eyes drifting slowly across the room, trying to focus on the people around her.

Surrounding Ms Schwabegger are her loved ones, who've come to support the 66-year-old grandmother after she was knocked off her bike during a hit and run on Saturday.

"I'm very lucky to have them," she said yesterday.

About 5.45am on Saturday Ms Schwabegger was cycling around town when she struck a white ute at the corner of Takalvan St and Woongarra St.

She and her partner, Stewart Mackett, said while it was likely the driver hadnot seen her coming, there was no way they would not have felt the impact.

"I was coming down at 20km/h. I didn't have time to stop, then bang," Ms Schwabegger said.

"By the time I looked up he was gone, I couldn't see him."

Everything that followed is a blur in her memory.

She can't remember lying in the road with her new bike on top of her; she doesn't remember a woman running into the street to redirect traffic; and the face of the person that helped move her off the bitumen is hazy.

Daughter Melanie Cornwell said when she heard what happened, she panicked.

"When I first got here, Mum was in tears in Stewart's arms," Ms Schwabegger said.

"She said it felt like she didn't have her glasses on."

The grandma's vision has been blurry since the crash.

Mr Mackett said, being an ex-bus driver, he wasn't "keen on bikes and cars mixing, but the fact he didn't stop, that's another thing".

"I want the person who was driving to face up, be normal and be a human being," he said.

After Ms Schwabegger was picked up off the roadside, another stranger named Blake drove her to her Avoca home.

The family said they'd been trying to track down Blake but had so far been unsuccessful.

Ms Cornwall said: "Blake was wonderful. He was wearing some kind of workers' uniform and was in a white station wagon.

"We'd love to find him and thank him."

As Ms Schwabegger told her story, her loved ones helped fill some gaps in her memory.

"When she got home and I saw her, there was a bit of shock, and then I insisted on the ambulance coming," Mr Mackett said.

The 72-year-old did not realise it was a hit and run until later.

"Once I found out, I got more and more angry. The fact they didn't stop and look after her, that's a lowlife," he said.

In spite of what happened, in the three hours Ms Schwabegger spent getting checked at Bundaberg Hospital, she'd started worrying about how soon her bike could be fixed.

"She's been riding every day for years. She loves it," Ms Cornwall said.

Ms Schwabegger was knocked off her bike by a white ute about 5.45am on Saturday near the Salvation Army and Bundaberg Radiology.

If you have information, call Policelink on 13 13 44 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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