CYCLIST Joseph Wheeler has thanked the emergency services and the prayers of Adver readers for saving his life after suffering major injuries in a collision with a lorry on Friday.

The 19-year-old lay unconscious in the middle of Faringdon Road for almost an hour until ambulance crews finally got him away to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

Joseph, a labourer from Thorne Road, Eldene, has accepted blame for the collision with a six-wheel lorry at the crossroads with Farnsby Street and Emlyn Square.

His mother, Mia Wheeler, 46, has said her son was rushing to Swindon Central Library to retrieve a backpack he had left there earlier in the day after searching for jobs on the internet.

The former Lackham-based Wiltshire College student cannot remember the finer details of where he hit the lorry or how the collision came about, due to the severity of the head injuries he suffered.

His mother said her son was recovering and talking in bed, with a broken vertebra in his neck, a broken collar bone, a punctured lung, a broken rib and what she described as a “smashed skull.”

Mia also said more than three eye-witnesses had seen the driver of the lorry legally pass through a green light, putting the blame on a rushing Joseph.

Joseph, a member of Swindon Evangelical Church, is keen to express his best wishes to all of the emergency services and the people who have prayed for him since the incident.

His mother said: “He’s doing very well. He’s improving by the day. He really wants to send his thanks to all of the people that helped him and all those praying for him at church.

“Because he’s had his head injury he’s a bit vague, but he remembers he was in a rush to get to the library to get his backpack.

“He has been trying to keep fit with using his bike. He has been looking for a job and had been in the library searching. He left his backpack under the desk in there.

“He wants to tell everyone how well he’s doing after reading the initial news about his accident online.

“They (medical staff) reckon there’s a good chance it’s not long term. He is still at Frenchay, but they are moving him from the more critical ward onto a lower intensity ward.”

A silver lining to the story is the news the library has secured Joseph’s bag and it is ready to be collected by the family, with all of his possessions inside.