Pedestrian Hit By Motorist
The parents of a 14 year-old girl, who almost died and suffered a severe brain injury when she was hit by a car, are urging motorists to think of the consequences of driving carelessly as the driver pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Derby.
Paige Holmes, age 14, from Crich, in Derbyshire, was hit from behind by the car while she was out walking with friends near Matlock, with the incident leaving her with such a severe brain injury that she almost died, and is now left with significant disability.
The family's solicitors, brain injury specialists at law firm Irwin Mitchell, say this case serves as a stark warning of the damage that can be caused when drivers take unnecessary risks. Irwin Mitchell will now be helping the family to secure the necessary funds to help with Paige’s rehabilitation from her injuries.
The driver responsible for the accident, Barry Buckley, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention at Derby Crown Court and was given eight points on his licence along with a 12 month disqualification, and £250 fine.
Paige's parents, Shirley and Alistair Holmes, said: "Finding out that Paige had been hit by a car was our worst nightmare, and it was heartbreaking having to watch her lying in hospital unable to communicate with us".
"We are relieved that the driver has now been sentenced and are now looking to put this behind us and move on with our lives, although we still do not know what the future holds for Paige.
"We do not know if she will ever be able to work, be able to live independently and very much doubt she will ever be able to look after her own family. We are taking things a step at a time. Her injuries have also had a significant impact on our family life as we try to balance life with all of our children.
"We would also like to place on record our thanks for the children who were with Paige when the accident occurred. The judge rightly commended them for their immediate actions, which probably saved her life, and we will forever be very grateful for what they did. We are also extremely grateful for the service and support Paige received from the ambulance service, the hospitals, the police and her school."
Paige was rushed to Chesterfield Hospital immediately after the incident and was then transferred to the intensive care unit at Sheffield Children's Hospital, where she remained unconscious for three weeks.
Even after she regained consciousness she was completely dependent on help for everyday tasks such as eating, washing, going to the toilet and getting dressed.
As part of her recovery she has also had to learn to walk and talk again, and still wears a splint and needs a walking aid to help mobility. Although she is making good progress she is still unable to walk anything more than short distances.
Caroline Mitchell, a brain injury specialist at law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: "The collision has clearly had a devastating effect on the lives of Paige and her family, and it is important that people understand the risks of careless driving.
"We see people's lives torn apart by actions like this all too often – where people do not consider the consequences that could be caused by their actions.
"Unfortunately Paige will suffer from the effects of her brain injury for life. At the moment she is using walking aids and has just returned to school, albeit with much shortened hours. Her family hope this case will provide a lesson and a warning to many other drivers, to prevent similar situations happening again.
"We are now committed to helping Paige and her family to secure the funds they need to maximise her rehabilitation and provide for her long term needs."
If you have been involved in a road traffic accident as a pedestrian, our specialist road traffic accident solicitors could help you to claim compensation. See our Pedestrian Accident Compensation page for more information.