Dad Suffered Spinal Cord Injury, Crushed Torso And Had Legs Amputated
A dad has spoken of his determination to look to the future after a driver was jailed for causing a horror crash which left him paralysed.
Nick Copson suffered a serious spinal cord injury and had his legs amputated following the head-on collision on the A68 in County Durham.
Nick was driving a Vauxhall Astra which was hit by a Kia Venga being driven by Craig Allen of Stanhope, between Witton-le-Wear and Toft Hill, at 7.30am on September 13, 2018.
The 47-year-old thought he was going to die in the wreckage of his vehicle so recorded a goodbye message on his mobile phone to his wife Nikki, 52, and son Connor, 21, telling them he was sorry and he loved them.
However, emergency services rescued Nick, of Woodland, County Durham. He was airlifted to hospital by the Great North Air Ambulance, and survived the horrific accident against all the odds.
Family asks lawyers for help after dad paralysed in A68 crash
Following the crash Nick and his family instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate and help him access specialist support and rehabilitation he will require for the rest of his life.
Nick has now joined his legal team in warning of the consequences of motorists driving dangerously. It comes after the other driver involved pleaded guilty to two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. A teenager in Allen’s vehicle was also seriously injured.
Expert Opinion“Nick and his family have faced an unspeakably difficult period over the last two and a half years since the crash as they have attempted to come to terms with how his injuries will change all their lives forever.
“Despite everything that he has been through, Nick continues to be an absolute inspiration to everyone who meets him. He doesn’t let what happened get him down and is determined to stay positive and get the best out of his new life.
“However, his story is a terrible reminder of the consequences which families can be left to face as a result of the actions of dangerous drivers.
“We have been working with Nick since his crash to ensure that he has access to all the specialist care, support and equipment that he requires to ensure that he has the best quality life possible, for now and the rest of his life.
“We join him in urging motorists to ensure they take care on the roads at all times.” Fran Mayes - Partner
Nick Copson's story
The crash happened near Witton-le-Wear on 13 September, 2018, when Nick was travelling to Harperley Hall College of Policing where he worked as a chef manager.
Nikki heard about the crash on the radio and when she called Nick a police officer answered the phone.
Nick was cut free from the wreckage. He was taken to Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital with a catalogue of injuries including a broken back, crushed torso and punctured lungs.
Driver suffer spinal injury and had legs amputated after crash
Nick was placed in an induced coma for five weeks. He underwent surgery, including a double leg amputation, amid lengthy treatment at Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital.
Nick spent 11 months in hospital and was then transferred to a specialist neurological rehabilitation centre in Middlesbrough. Sadly, he has not been able to return to his own home but moved to an adapted property last August, nearly two years after the life-changing crash.
Nick said: “The spinal injury in a way was a blessing, as it meant I couldn’t feel any pain below my chest. However, I started to struggle with breathing and that’s when I thought I was dying. Someone from another car came and sat with me and I asked her to pass on the message to my family, but she told me to tell them myself.”
He added: “It has been an incredibly difficult time. Being away from my family for so long was particularly hard to accept. During my time in hospital and at the rehab unit my entire focus was getting back home to Nikki and Connor. It’s difficult to put into words what it meant to get back home with my family.
Nick determined to focus on rehabilitation
“My life has been completely changed but I feel I have a new perspective on things and just want to enjoy everything I possibly can.
“Life is so incredibly fragile and I’m lucky to be alive. I try not to get too far ahead of myself. I just try and focus on my recovery.
“No sentence can ever make up for what has happened. I just hope that drivers realise what their actions can lead to and take care on the roads.”
Nikki added: “We are just so thankful to those who came to Nick’s help at the scene, the emergency services and all the hospital staff for everything they have done for Nick.
“We are so proud of the determination and bravery her has shown to pull through from what happened. Sometimes we still can’t quite believe Nick is still with us.
“While life has changed our family is still together and we just want to try and make the most of life.”
Driver jailed for causing crash in which dad suffered spinal injury and had legs amputated
The driver of the other car, Craig Allen, aged 46, from Stanhope, was charged in connection with the crash.
His trial commenced at Durham Crown Court on Monday, 19 April. During the trial Allen pleaded guilty to two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He was jailed for three years and two months and received a 67 month driving ban. He must take an extended re-test.
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