Miracle survivor speaks out after lorry driver admits causing Fenland horror crash
MIRACLE crash survivor Chris French says the dangerous driver who robbed him of his independence should never be allowed to drive a lorry again.
Chris suffered four pelvis fractures and two broken ribs in the horrific collision, which happened outside his Westry home in July last year. He was in hospital for 44 days.
The 30-year-old, the son of Councillor Jan French, Mayor of March, spoke out after lorry driver Andrew Elliott, 43, of Halifax Court, Gibraltar, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
“I don’t want him to drive a lorry again,” said Chris. “If you’re going to have a lapse in concentration like that, then you shouldn’t be on the road.”
Chris was turning off the A141 into the driveway of his home when a lorry, travelling 8mph above a temporary 40mph speed limit, overtook three cars waiting behind him and ploughed into the side of his vehicle.
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He was hauled from his crumpled Peugeot 106 by his twin sister Kim, who climbed in through the smashed sunroof, and an off-duty police officer. He was then airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge. Lorry driver Elliott was unharmed.
Chris said: “The major injuries were the four pelvis fractures, two on each side. I had two broken ribs, a badly bruised leg, a 2.5in gash to my head and a four-inch laceration to my arm. I also had a small hole in my lung which closed up.”
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He added: “I lost my social life for at least six months. I lost a complete summer. I lost revenue from work and I lost my independence - that’s the key thing.”
Chris started driving again as soon as doctors would let him.
He said. “I wanted to get my independence back.
“The first real test was turning into my driveway again and hoping that I didn’t get any flashbacks. I didn’t.
“Driving was one of my passions and it was hard to get back in a car. I still have slight hesitation when lorries drive past. It is something I will never forget.”
Elliott, who was given an interim driving disqualification on Tuesday, will be sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court at a later date.
Chris added: “Apparently he hasn’t driven a lorry since because it has affected him so much.”