Helpless, bloodied and suffering multiple fractures, cyclist Brendan Braid was left alone on the side of the road.
The 58-year-old accountant had been cycling south on a quiet stretch of the Old Princes Highway near Helensburgh about 6.24am on January 5, 2014, when a white Ford Laser ran him down, flinging him from his bike.
In the seconds that followed, green P-plater Talia Jade Van-Rysewyk fled the scene, already concocting a cover story for the smashed windscreen, passenger-side mirror and indicator.
She would say her car was damaged by a large piece of plastic thrown from a car in front.
The 25-year-old told the lie to a friend she called immediately after the accident, repeating it when she arrived at his Helensburgh home minutes later needing help with the repairs.
It was the first of many bungled attempts the unemployed Engadine woman made to cover her tracks before she was arrested by police on January 22, 2014.
Van-Rysewyk pleaded guilty to negligent driving occasionally grievous bodily harm and failing to stop and assist following an accident, at Kiama Local Court on Monday.
Since the accident she had repeatedly denied hitting Mr Braid or seeing him lying injured by the road, despite admitting to driving her car along the Old Princes Highway that morning.
Mr Braid suffered two fractured vertebrae, a broken femur, fractured ankle, cracked pelvis and an aneurism in the chest as a result of the accident.
Two cyclists found him lying by the road a few minutes later and phoned emergency services.
One of the men provided a description and registration of Van-Rysewyk’s car – the only car that had passed him in the minutes before the accident.
On Monday, the court heard of Van-Rysewyk’s clumsy attempts to conceal the crime by enlisting her friend’s help to change a punctured tyre, remove the damaged side mirror and clean the front of her car.
Police discovered the car parked on an Engadine street the next day, following a tip-off from a member of the public responding to a police appeal on social media.
On January 7, Van-Rysewyk’s friend took the broken mirror and punctured tyre from her car to Helensburgh police station, concerned about her version of events.
A forensic examination of indicator fragments found at the site concluded they came from Van-Rysewyk’s car.
Rubber consistent with that of the punctured tyre was also found within 15 metres of where Mr Braid was found.
Police also obtained CCTV footage from an Engadine service station showing Van-Rysewyk driving her undamaged car out of the lot at 6.14am – consistent with the 10-minute journey to the accident site.
Mobile phone records showed the P-plater called her friend at Helensburgh at 6.23am, and again at 6.25am after hitting Mr Braid.
‘‘Police have not witnessed any signs of remorse from the accused,’’ a fact sheet tendered to the court noted.
Van-Rysewyk will be sentenced on May 21.