Father-Of-Two Marks This Year’s Road Safety Week
A keen cyclist from Barnsley who suffered a serious leg injury in a collision with a car is marking Road Safety Week by speaking out about his battle to get back on two wheels and the impact that the incident has had on his life.
Chris King, 49, was cycling along Barnsley Road in Pontefract on 10 May 2017 when a car pulled out of a side road and collided with him. The force of the impact not only knocked him off his bike, but also threw him over the car and onto the opposite side of the carriageway.
Following the incident, the father-of-two was taken to Pinderfields Hospital for treatment and it was confirmed that he had a fractured femur, as well as soft tissue injuries to his neck and bruising across his body.
While Chris had metal plates and pins inserted into the femur, he continued to struggle in the months afterwards with issues including pain in his knee joint. More than two years on, he is still suffering with the pain and, while he has been able to get back on his bike, he is unable to ride to the same level as he used to.
Following the crash, Chris instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the incident and help him access support services to aid his recovery. Now, he has teamed up with them to mark Brake’s annual Road Safety Week campaign, which this year is taking place from 18 November with the theme of ‘Step Up For Safe Streets’.
Expert Opinion“Road Safety Week is an important time to reflect on why it is vital to take care on the roads, with Chris’ story being a clear example of how all motorists need to put safety first.
The injuries that Chris suffered two years ago have had a major impact on not only his life, but also the lives of his family too. Furthermore, while he has taken important steps forward in his recovery, he continues to struggle with some consequences of what happened.
We are continuing to work on Chris' case and remain determined to help him gain justice regarding what he has been through, but we also hope that his story acts as a reminder as to why the importance of safety should never be ignored.”
Liz Whitehead - Team Leader & Senior Associate
Chris was non-weight bearing for around five weeks after the incident and had to use crutches.
He underwent a range of treatment including physiotherapy across the following months and then had the metalwork taken out of his leg in June 2018. He also underwent keyhole surgery earlier this year to improve his ongoing pain issues, while his experiences have also had a psychological impact.
The financial adviser said: “Shortly after the accident I started to suffer with panic attacks and the problems partly stemmed from being told that I may never be able to cycle again. It was heart breaking and I remember crying when I told my father the news. I couldn’t take it.
“I have also suffered with flashbacks at times and that was very difficult. It even got to the point where I was unable to watch hospital programmes or even cycling on TV as I would be scared they may come off their bikes.”
In recent times, Chris has been able to return to his love of cycling – although he can no longer ride as far as he used to.
He added: “I used to ride up to 200 miles a week but that is out of the question now. However, I can cycle around 10 to 12 miles now on a flat route and this has been a massive boost to my mood and self-confidence. I feel positive when I’m out there, although I know I can’t venture too far from home in case my knee pain flares up.
“The injury has affected me in other ways too, as I love going on holidays with the kids but I can no longer do activities like water parks or snorkelling like I used to. I also can’t socialise as much, as standing for long periods makes the pain worse.
“The collision has had a huge impact on my life and it felt important to speak out on Road Safety Week about the issues that I’ve faced. All road users have a responsibility to take care and put safety first, as failing to do so can have massive consequences.”