When Ian Gillies was knocked from his bike by a speeding car and left with life-changing injuries it was a horrifying incident that devastated his family.

Mr Gillies was only able to carry on through the trauma of the crash and the early stages of his recovery thanks to the support of his best friend and younger brother, Scott.

Then, just weeks later, Scott was also knocked from his bike - but Scott was killed.

The twin crashes have left the Gillies family in a state of shock that they are struggling to recover from as Ian still suffering the effects of his physical injuries.

Ian's pain is so fresh that he still speaks of his brother in the present tense, as well as past, when he describes how Scott supported him in the days following the crash.

"We were best friends and he did everything he could to try to help me, try to encourage me, would pick me up and take me to his house, get me out for some fresh air," Ian said.

"Scott has been fantastic. Scott was the last person to cut my garden.

"Scott is amazing. He would do a favour for anybody, he was always trying to look for the best in people and trying to make sure they are the best version of themselves.

"He was always trying to push people to get the best out of them."

Both Ian and Scott were keen cyclists but Scott was particularly invested in the sport, owning multiple bikes and high-tech equipment.

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Ian would "use cycling as a way of keeping fit and getting some fresh air into the lungs", he said, and preferred cycling on the roads, believing himself to be a "very strong and safety-aware cyclist."

On Saturday, May 6, just after lunchtime, Ian was out for a cycle on his own near to the Garfield House Hotel in Stepps when he suddenly felt himself leaving the road and flying through the air.

"I'm always aware of my surroundings but this guy ... I don't know where he came from, I never saw him," the 54-year-old said.

"I'd probably looked behind me about 20 seconds beforehand. I didn't even feel being hit."

Ian estimates that he flew 25ft to 30ft through the air before landing, tumbling along the road and ending up on the edge of the curb, stunned and in pain.

An experienced First Aider, he knew not to move his body and tried to stay in the one position to protect his spine. Meanwhile, two women stopped to assist and phoned an ambulance.

"I was thinking, 'I'm lucky to be alive' and, looking further back on it, I was," Ian, who works as a shift manager in a chemical plant, said.

"I don't know how long I was in the air but it felt a lot longer than it would have been.

"While I was tumbling [in the air] I looked and while I was in mid-air I saw a blue car and that's when I realised, 'I've been hit by a car' and that's when I saw the injuries and felt the pain from it."

Initially the driver stopped as Ian's bike was in front of his car.

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The man, Mark Hugh Shields, pleaded guilty at Airdrie Sheriff Court to charges of driving without due care and attention and drunk driving. The 44-year-old, from Bishopbriggs, is due to be sentenced in January at Airdrie Sheriff Court.

Eyewitnesses at the scene said two children in the vehicle ran out to see what had happened.

Ian said: "One girl walked past and I could recall her shouting, 'He's dead', so I shouted out, 'It's alright darling, I'm ok, I'm ok' because it's not fair on the children.

"The guy got out of the car and I could hear someone saying, 'He's pished, he's pished' and I looked round and I could see him slumped over his door."

Ian, meanwhile, was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary where he was found to have three displaced broken ribs, major swelling and injuries to his back.

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He was not given an MRI of his arms at the hospital so it wasn't until nine weeks later it was discovered he also had a displaced broken elbow.

Not keen to stay in hospital, Ian was discharged home that evening - but was almost immediately returned by ambulance when he collapsed in front of his partner and Scott, who had come to check on him.

When he was finally returned home he said he struggled to complete even basic tasks such as washing himself or dressing.

"The first few weeks were horrendous," he said. "I couldn't sleep properly because if I lay on my back it was agony, if I lay on my side my ribs were absolutely horrendous and I had a broken elbow so I couldn't push myself up.

"My whole life had totally changed. I can't sleep, can't do anything, all my hobbies are out the window, I can't work."

Horrifically, Ian's life changed again on June 9 just five weeks after his crash.

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The phone rang and it was Yvonne, Scott's partner of 16 years. "Scott's been in an accident," she said, "And he's died."

Ian said: "I thought I was still in one of these drug induced sleeps I've been having. I couldn't believe it.

"After about 10 seconds I realised it was real. She said he'd been hit from behind, just like me. And that's when I couldn't take it in."

Ian then had the appalling task of phoning the rest of the family of six siblings - and Scott's son, Andrew, and daughter, Louise - to tell them he was dead.

He added: "For our family it was horrendous because we realised how lucky I was to survive and then they have to hear that their brother has died or their father or uncle has died.

"It's just the most horrific thing to tell people."

Scott, a signalman with Network Rail, had taken his bike out to cycle to the Campsie Hills on one of his regular excursions; often he would cycle 50 to 60 miles and usually wearing his favourite Scottish flag jersey.

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He was on the A806 Initiative Road in East Dunbartonshire, a long, straight single carriageway road with good visibility but a 60mph speed limit.

The family has been told that Scott was cycling uphill when he was hit from behind by a van.

Ian and his brothers later walked to the crash site where they saw parts of Scott's bike helmet lying on the ground. They hope, Ian said, he died instantly.

That day Ian had found out the name of the driver who ploughed into him and had been planning to call Scott to tell him.

"I was going to phone Scott," he said, "but I thought he was working and he might have been on night shift so I didn't make the call and then I was too late."

Scott's death has left a traumatic gap in Ian's life. The pair were competitive, as is the way of brothers, and pushed each other to be better.

Ian said his brother was a meticulously careful cyclist: he was constantly nagging Ian about cycling safety and loved bike maintenance almost as much as cycling itself.

Ian said: "We were always competing about things, as you do as brothers.

"Since I was a few years older than him and was having a few back issues and sciatica, he would make fun of me and say, 'I'll rattle you at the cycling'."

Ian had been lobbying East Dunbartonshire Council to take a meaningful look at the safety of Initiative Road, particularly for cyclists.

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He said: "This is a road a lot of cyclists use as a link road and I don't think they consider how very, very dangerous it is for cyclists.

"[The council] should be asking if this is safe as a 60mph road or are there traffic calming measures we could be putting in place, cameras or other kind of signage?

"There has been a fatality and there is potential for other fatalities."

Ian is still unable to work and lives with constant pain and the uncertainty of not knowing when - or if - he might be well again.

But he added: "At least I can feel pain. I wish Scott could feel pain.

"[After my accident] there was no way I could have said to Scott not to go cycling because it was his passion.

"It is horrible how it has affected everyone, it is horrible to see how it has impacted everyone in the family. It's horrible to see how much it has broken his partner.

"It's horrible to know you are not going to see your brother again.

"People need to understand the consequences of distractions and not concentrating on what's right in front of them.

"It could happen to anyone if it can happen to two people in the same family, two of the closest friends, the closest brothers."