British Co-Driver Begins Legal Action Following Belgian Coach Crash, Middelkerke

Coach crash update, Middelkerke, Belgium

24.08.2007

The co-driver of a coach which crashed into a house in the Belgian coastal town of Middelkerke in June 2007, in which four Britons were seriously injured, is launching legal action to recover damages for the personal injuries and financial loss he sustained.

Andrew Hardman (49) from Worksop was the co-driver of the coach but, at the time of the accident on Sunday 10 June 2007, his colleague Gary Northcott was driving.

Mr Northcott swerved to avoid a collision with another vehicle but crashed into the side of a house. As a result of the accident Mr Hardman had to have his left arm amputated above the elbow and fractured his ankle, leaving him unlikely to be able to ever drive a coach again.

Mr Hardman was employed by Battersbys Silver Grey Coaches at the time of the accident and both he and Mr Northcott had been contracted out to Leger Holidays who were operating the coach as part of a 9 day tour of Prague, Vienna and Budapest.

Mr Hardman said "The loss of my arm in the accident has been very traumatic. I am still undergoing treatment but I am experiencing excruciating phantom pains, like electric shocks, in my left arm.

However, the medical treatment that I received in Belgium was fantastic and I would like to thank all those who treated me for the excellent service they provided. I would also like to thank the emergency services who were on the scene very quickly. The fact that I am still alive is testament to the dedication of the people who helped me at the scene and the people who treated me in hospital afterwards."

 

Compensation for coach crash injuries

Clive Garner, Head of the Travel Law team at Irwin Mitchell, who is representing Mr Hardman said: "Mr Hardman's loss is very severe indeed and we will be working hard to ensure that he is appropriately compensated for his pain and suffering as well as the financial losses that will flow from this accident".

"We are currently liaising with the police in Belgium to establish the exact cause of the accident and have been instructed by our client to begin legal proceedings and we are currently finalising investigations before a decision is made on who the action will be taken against. I would urge any other passengers on the coach to contact us to provide us with their account of what happened.

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