Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Drug-driver ‘ruined my life’ says East Lancs crash victim

Drug-driver ‘ruined my life’ says East Lancs crash victim
02 Nov

A DOG walker who was left partially paralysed by a drug-addled driver says his life has been ruined.

Retired Wilfred Walker has been left in a wheelchair after he was knocked down by a Seat Ibiza driven by 22-year-old Jake Michael Smith while crossing Blackburn Road in Great Harwood last August.

Mr Walker, 70, who lives locally, spent five weeks in the Royal Preston Hospital after being mown down before he was transferred to a specialist spinal unit at Southport.

Smith, of Wharf Street, Rishton, is now beginning a three-year jail sentence after being convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and driving while unfit through cannabis.

Jailing him and imposing a 78-month driving ban at Preston Crown Court, Judge Andrew Woolman said that “no sentence long or short would measure the damage done to Mr Walker”.

CCTV footage of the impact should be used to educate other young drivers of the impact of drug-driving, added the judge.

Speaking after the case, Mr Walker, who now suffers from tetraplegia, said: “My life has been ruined due to the fault of a stupid selfish driver who had taken drugs and was in a vehicle that was not roadworthy.

“ I am angry and frustrated and now completely helpless.

“I hope he never finds himself in my situation. It is something I would never wish on my worst enemy.”

His wife Janette added: “The day of the accident is the worst day of my life.

“When I saw him lying in the road after he had been hit, I thought he had died and my world had come to an end.

“His injuries have had a profound effect on all the family. We have had work done on the house so it is adapted for his needs.

“We need to ensure he has a special bed, a hoist and other equipment to help him move about the house.”

Mr Walker is affected by paralysis and sensory loss from the shoulders down in all four limbs and needs care in all aspects of his life, the court heard.

The family is now pursuing a civil case through Manchester-based personal injury lawyers Irwin Mitchell.

Cathy Leech, a partner, said: “This is an incredibly sad example of the life-changing consequences of dangerous driving.”

Source: https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/17196202.drug-driver-ruined-my-life-says-east-lancs-crash-victim/


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