Lawyers Secure Funds To Pay For Ongoing Rehabilitation
A taxi driver has been left unable to play with his baby daughter because of serious injuries suffered when a vehicle crashed into his cab, causing it to burst into flames.
Antony Gray had to be pulled from his burning cab after a car which had veered onto the wrong side of Sheffield Road, Barnsley, ploughed head-on into his vehicle.
The 44-year-old’s legs were broken. He also suffered a shattered left hip and knee as well as a head injury. His teenage passenger suffered a bleed on the brain and fractured eye socket.
Following the collision Antony - who had recently married Cristiane, who was seven months pregnant with their first child at the time, instructed a law firm to help investigate.
However, the couple, of Cudworth, Barnsley, then asked expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to take over their case.
Since then Irwin Mitchell has secured a substantial interim payment for Antony to help him gain back some of his independence, and funds to pay for Antony’s rehabilitation and vocational assessments to help him retrain and return to work. His injuries mean Antony has had to give up his career as a driver.
Antony is now using Road Safety Week to speak for the first time about the impact his injuries have had on his family and how is unable to help look after or play with his daughter Victoria, now 19-months-old.
Expert Opinion“Antony’s case vividly highlights how the serious injuries people suffer in crashes not only greatly impact on that person’s life but also the lives of their family.
“The last year or so has been incredibly difficult not only for Antony but also Cristiane. What should have been such a joyous occasion for them, welcoming Victoria into the world, has been tainted by the crash and Antony’s battle to try and overcome his injuries.
“While we’re pleased to have secured Antony payments to fund his ongoing rehabilitation, and while he has made great progress, he still faces major challenges.
“We’ll continue to support Antony and his family so he can maximise his recovery. However, it’s vital that his case acts as a warning of the consequence innocent road users can be left to face because of the careless actions of others.” Liz Whitehead - Team Leader & Senior Associate
The crash happened just before midnight on 20 January, 2019. Antony was knocked unconscious by the impact. When he came round he noticed flames in his vehicle. Passers-by came to his rescue and helped Antony, who could not walk because of his injuries, out of his cab.
He was taken to Northern General Hospital where he underwent a number of operations and spent more than three weeks.
Antony, who had been a taxi driver for 12 years, had seven screws fitted in his left hip and knee as well as 10 metal pins in his right leg. His right leg remains disfigured and he requires a walking stick.
He said: “All I remember is coming round and seeing flames in the cab. I was in so much pain and couldn’t move. Then two men came and dragged pulled me out of the cab to safety. After only a few seconds of being laid beside the road away from the fire I looked back at my car and the engine exploded. All I could think of was Cristiane being pregnant at home and I looked down at my lower body that was severely broken and damaged.
“The next thing I remember was opening my eyes in a hospital bed seeing my wife and mother crying. I was covered in wires with machines beeping all around me. All I could think of was my baby that was due to arrive soon and I was in such a state.
“We were so excited for the future and Victoria’s birth but a lot of that changed overnight.”
Antony was allowed home from hospital in a wheelchair which he was still in when Cristiane gave birth.
He said starting rehabilitation and his faith from being a member of Love Life UK Church, founded by former Barnsley footballer Bruce Dyer, have played a major role in his progress.
Antony added: “Not being able to help care for Victoria has been the most difficult thing to accept. Even when she was a newborn the only way I could feed her was when sat down and Cristiane had to pass her to me.
“I still can’t lift her up or take her upstairs because my injuries mean I don’t have the strength I should and I’d risk dropping her. Now Victoria is developing more and becoming inquisitive I should be chasing her round and playing with her, but I just can’t do that.
“This should be the most special time of our lives but not being able to do things most dads take for granted has really affected me. It was a great milestone for me when I made it out of my wheel chair and not long after that we had our baby christened at our church by our pastor Bruce Dyer.
“I used to love being a taxi driver. You would get to meet and talk to all different kinds of people. Having to accept this is something I won’t be able to return to has also been difficult.
“You never think something like this will happen to you and you’ll never realise how many tears, ups and downs you and your family have to go through until you hear the sirens coming. The crash was just the start of it but I can’t thank enough those who have supported me.
“I’m now looking to get back to work and I want to provide for my family. I’ve got graphic design qualifications so am looking at this.”
Cristiane added: “Despite everything Antony has been through he’s still a wonderful husband and dad. Things haven’t been easy but we’re determined to help Antony make the best recovery possible
“He’s starting to make great progress through his rehab and I’m so proud of the determination he shows.
“We just hope our story acts as a warning for the need for people to take care on the roads.”
The driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court in October 2019. They received a driving ban and a fine.
Organised by the charity Brake, Road Safety Week runs from 16-22 November.