A CYCLIST was injured when she was struck in the face by a branch, apparently thrown from a former railway bridge in York.

Teacher Barbara Khan, 47, of Huntington Road, suffered a black eye and a bruised and swollen cheek bone and forehead, but said she could have been blinded or even killed.

She said she was cycling home along Huntington Road from the city railway station when the incident happened at about 6pm last Thursday, as she was going under the old iron bridge, which is now used as a cycle track.

“I was looking down at the ground, noticing there was quite a lot of wood on it when I was struck,” she said. “I cycled on for another metre or two but then stopped. I was pretty dazed and confused.

“There was no wind or trees overhead that the branch could have come from, so I think it must have been thrown off the bridge, along with the rest of the wood that was lying there.”

Ms Khan, who teaches at a school in Doncaster, said she went to York Hospital and was kept under observation for a while but was later allowed home after staff were satisfied she was not suffering from concussion.

“It could have been so much worse, for example if I’d fallen off my bike into the path of a car,” she said.

“I really want to put out this message to those who did it: Pack it in, before you end up killing someone.”

She said she had reported the incident to police.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “This was an act of reckless stupidity which could have had far more serious consequences. Anybody with any information is asked to phone police on 101 or phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”