‘Despicable’ Hit And Run Driver Jailed After Knocking Woman 28 Metres From Family

Serious Injury Experts Praise Accident Victim’s Determination

16.03.2012

Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell representing a 21-year-old woman who’s ‘lucky to be alive’ after a car ploughed into her at high speed, sending her flying 28 metres through the air have praised her determination to get back to work despite needing months of continuing rehabilitation, after a judge jailed the hit-and-run driver responsible.

Tori Brewer, from Aldershot, was walking to the pub with her mum and step-dad to celebrate the Royal Wedding on a sunny afternoon in April last year when she was hit by painter and decorator, Matthew Mooney, who was returning a car to his boss.

Mooney fled the scene on Puttenham Heath Road in Surrey, leaving Tori lying horrifically injured in the road with multiple fractures to her skull, ribs, pelvis and spine.

Hairdresser Tori was airlifted to King’s College Hospital where she spent 10 days sedated in the critical surgery unit and a total of three months being treated. She was required to wear a metal fixator (brace) around her pelvis to encourage her fractures to heal and needed intensive physiotherapy and speech therapy as a result of her head injuries.

She is now working with serious injury legal experts at Irwin Mitchell as she seeks to fund the rehabilitation she continues to need, despite her remarkable recovery.

Mooney was quickly caught after his boss got stuck in the traffic jam from the accident scene and interrogated him when he saw the extensive damage to his car as he returned it. Mooney’s boss then drove him back to the scene of the incident where he was immediately arrested by police, who later estimated he was travelling at 56mph in a 40mph zone.

He was sentenced to seven months imprisonment and disqualified from driving for two years at Guildford Crown Court on 9 March (Friday) after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop and failing to report an accident.

Tracey Storey, a serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s London office is representing Tori and her family, who have been left traumatised by seeing the horrific incident. She said: “The crash left Tori’s life in pieces and her dedicated family’s lives on hold whilst they visited her every day in hospital and continue to care for her.

“If it weren’t for the actions of Mooney’s boss, Tori might not have seen justice for the horrific injuries she suffered and we praise his quick thinking which saw his employee brought to account.

“Tori’s determination to rebuild her life is an inspiration and she has remained strong when others would have given up. She gets tired easily and still has limited movement in her legs but she has let nothing stand in her way of getting back to work. She has recently returned to work as a hairdresser and has even taken on second job as a care worker for the elderly.

“We’ll now work to ensure Tori gets access to the specialist rehabilitation and physiotherapy she desperately needs to be able to make a full recovery and move forward with her life.”

Tori was walking to the Jolly Harvester pub with her mum and stepdad, Maria and Glen Slade, who had picked her up from work. Mooney’s car suddenly appeared and tried to swerve round the group, but was travelling too quickly. He missed Tori’s family by inches but ploughed into her as they watched helplessly, only to see him flee the scene.

Tori said: “I am pleased to see some justice against the driver but I continue to suffer from my injuries as a result of his dangerous driving. I’m working towards getting full movement back in the lower half of my body, but the horrific memories of what happened that day will haunt me for the rest of my life. I’m not taking anything for granted as I know I’m lucky to be alive.

“My mum and step dad still find it hard to come to terms with what happened and have regular flash backs. We’re all still in shock at the despicable behaviour of the driver.”

“The doctors have been amazed with my recovery but I’ve been determined not to let the accident ruin my life. The support of the hospital staff has been fantastic and I hope with the continued rehabilitation and therapy my lawyer is working to secure, I can be back to the busy, active person I was before the accident.

Our expert serious injury solicitors will provide you with free initial advice on your compensation claim if you or a loved one has suffered a serious spinal injury. See our Spinal Injury Compensation Claims page for more information.