A dad who desperately tried to save his son after a bike accident only to end up accused of causing his death, is embarking on an emotional cycle ride in his memory this weekend.
Andy Tetsill threw away his own bike after the tragedy and pledged he’d never ride again.
But his anguish was made worse when it was claimed he caused the tragic accident by driving his truck too close to son Craig (21) and knocking him off his bike.
Andy (43), from Camelon, faced up to five years in prison if he’d been found guilty of careless driving. He denied the claims and was found not guilty after a trial.
Now the grieving dad has pledged to turn his worst nightmare into something positive, by getting on his bike once again and cycling in tribute to his son.
He’ll join thousands of cyclists taking part in Sunday’s Pedal for Scotland, which runs through the Falkirk district, riding the 46 miles route from Glasgow to Edinburgh.
He said: “There have been times during this when I’ve just sat in the corner and cried.
“I did everything I could to bring Craig back after the accident. I was shouting and screaming, I tried mouth to mouth resuscitation, but I could tell from the look in his eyes that there was nothing there.
“It was just a freak accident. I had two-and-a-half years of hell before my name was cleared. I still can’t believe it ended up with me in court.
“I threw my bike away after the accident, I couldn’t face cycling. Now I want to focus on doing something positive in Craig’s memory.”
The accident happened as Craig and dad Andy were heading back to their digs in Foyers after working together on a pipeline near Wester Aberchalder, east of Loch Ness, on May 16, 2013.
Craig set off on his bike, while Andy followed later in a pick up truck. But as Andy’s vehicle came up alongside, Craig’s bike went out of control. He fell and struck his head on the rear light cluster bar of the truck.
Craig, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, suffered major brain injuries in the accident. Despite first-aider Andy’s desperate efforts, he died in his father’s arms.
Police collision experts later claimed Andy had been driving too close to Craig’s bike on the single track road.
Andy said: “I used to cycle a lot with Craig. But my bike was broken so I didn’t have it with me that day. I’d told Craig to put his bike in the back of the pick up truck. But he was adamant that he wanted to cycle.”
Andy was still coming to terms with what had happened when he was charged with careless driving and causing his son’s death.
It took around two and half years from the accident to the end of the court case.
“It was a tragic accident, there was nothing I could do,” he added. “The court case put us all under terrible stress. I couldn’t understand why it was happening.”
Andy was so traumatised he chucked away his bike and vowed not to cycle again.
But now he has decided to get back on, and aims to raise £1000 for the Scottish branch of charity Headway, which helps brain injury survivors and their families.
He’ll be joined by his colleagues from Barrhead firm George Leslie Ltd, who will be cycling the route raising money for various charities.
Andy added: “My work and my family have been amazing. I threw my bike away at the time and said I’d never get on a bike again. One of the boys I work with was doing a bit of cycling. It made me realise you can’t live in the dark, you’ve got to get on with life.
“It’s taken me three-and-a-half years to get back on the bike. At first it was quite emotional. Now it helps me and things are getting better as time passes. I still don’t feel the case against me should ever have gone to court, but I’ve got to move on.
“Cycling for Craig is what I want to focus on.”
To support Andy Tetsill’s Pedal for Scotland bid, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Andy-Tetsill