Dad Reveals How Family’s Life Has Been Changed By Collision
A cyclist paralysed in a crash caused by a speeding driver is supporting a campaign to reduce the number of cyclists seriously injured on the roads.
Steven Lee suffered a serious spinal cord injury when a car that had been hit by another vehicle which failed to give way, was propelled into him at Shearsby crossroads, near Market Harborough, Leicestershire.
Steven, of Wigston, Leicester, spent seven months in hospital.
Following the crash in July 2017, the father-of-two instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the collision and help him access the specialist therapies and rehabilitation he now requires.
Steven, 49, who has been unable to return to his job as a project manager since the accident, has joined his legal team at Irwin Mitchell in supporting this year’s Road Safety Week which is aiming to reduce the number of cyclists and motorcyclist injured or killed on the roads.
Expert Opinion“Sadly, we continue to see too many people whose lives have been turned upside down as a consequence of road traffic collisions, particularly cyclists.
“The injuries which Steven suffered through no fault of his own have had a major impact on him and his family. They are still trying to come to terms with how their lives have changed forever.
“We join Steven in supporting Road Safety Week and urge motorists to take care at all times to reduce the number of cyclists being seriously injured or killed.” Sarah Downs (née Parkin) - Associate
Steven has been married to Jo for 22 years and the couple have two children.
Steven, a keen cyclist, was out for a regular training ride on 25 July, 2017. When he approached the Shearsby crossroads from Bruntingthorpe Road he saw a silver Vauxhall Corsa travelling at speed along Saddington Road. The car failed to give way and hit a black Ford Fiesta which was travelling along the A5199 Wellford Road, and which had right of way. The impact forced both vehicles across the road and into the junction where Steven was waiting stationary for a break in the traffic.
He said: “I was not quite at the top of the junction when I noticed a car coming down the hill obviously going too fast to be able to stop at the give way.
“It all happened very quickly. The car on the main road was hit by the car coming down the hill and then I can’t remember anything until I woke up on my back on the grass verge.
“I couldn’t move and I realised immediately that I couldn’t feel any part of my body below my chest. One of the cars was very close to me and I could feel the heat and realised that it was on fire.
“The people who came to my help were absolutely brilliant, I said to them ‘I think I’m paralysed’. Thankfully the emergency services soon arrived.”
Steven was airlifted to University Hospital Coventry. After around two weeks he was transferred to a specialist spinal injuries unit in Oswestry. He was discharged in January 2018.
Steven and Jo have had to move out of the family home into a wheelchair accessible property.
He may also have to undergo further surgery on his spine to prevent further injuries in the future.
Steven said: “Prior to the accident I took my fitness seriously. As well as cycling I enjoyed sailing, fishing, walking and led an active lifestyle.
“But all that changed in a split-second. The many months in hospital were really hard. The support of my friends and family really helped me through that time.
“It has been difficult coming to terms with how life is different, not only for me but also for my family. The injuries I sustained are not only personally life changing, but they also impact the ones who are closest to you.
“I want to become more mobile as being able to get out in my wheelchair will make such a big difference. I want to start rebuilding my life again and be able to get back into sport in the future. I am aware of Sailability courses for people with disabilities. If I can get back on a boat again and be on the sea safely that would be amazing.
“I just hope that by speaking out drivers realise the hurt and pain they can cause by breaking the law.”
The Vauxhall Corsa driver pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He received an 18-month jail term, suspended for two years, 180 hours of community service work and was disqualified from driving for three years.
Road Safety Week runs from 19-25 November. This year’s ‘Bike Smart’ theme aims to reduce the number of cyclists and motorcyclists killed or injured on the roads.
In 2016 a total of 19,297 motorcyclists and 18,477 cyclists were either killed or injured, according to the most recent figures from the Department for Transport.