Eighteen-Year-Old Suffered Brain Injury And Loss Of Peripheral Vision
A Cambridgeshire teenager seriously injured when he was knocked off his bike as he cycled home is supporting plans to change the Highway Code.
Haydn Garrod, of Soham, suffered a brain injury, fractured bones and internal bleeding, as well as right-sided paralysis and a loss of vision, when he was involved in a collision with a car that attempted to overtake him as he turned from Station Road on to Cockpen Road in Fordham. He was 15 at the time.
The East of England Air Ambulance attended the scene, and Haydn was taken by road ambulance to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. He remained there for seven weeks, two weeks of which was in a coma, before being transferred to The Children’s Trust, a child brain injury rehabilitation centre, for three months.
Following the collision, Haydn’s mum Amanda instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate and help him access the ongoing specialist rehabilitation and therapies he requires.
Now aged 18, Haydn has spoken out about the impact the incident continues to have on his life. He has also joined with his legal team at Irwin Mitchell in backing the consultation on changes to the Highway Code. One of the proposals states that drivers should wait behind cyclists and not overtake if it’s unsafe or not possible to leave a two-metre gap at speeds over 30mph, or one-and-a-half metres for speeds below.
Expert Opinion“Haydn sustained terrible injuries when he was knocked off his bike. While he has made great progress in his recovery Haydn will be left with lifelong difficulties as a result of the accident.
As he attempts to come to terms with what’s happened and the impact it has on his life, we will continue to support him by seeking access to the treatment and rehabilitation he needs to make the most of his life.
We’re also supporting the proposed changes to the Highway Code to help improve road safety for all users including cyclists.”
Justina Molloy - Senior Associate Solicitor
The collision, which took place at around 6pm on 31 August 2018, has left Haydn with ongoing difficulties, including cognitive issues. He has speech, mobility and memory problems. The loss of peripheral sight in his right eye is now permanent and, as a result, he is not allowed to hold a driving licence. Doctors are also carrying out tests to establish the extent of his hearing loss.
Haydn is currently attending Cambridge Regional College to re-learn key skills in maths and English.
He said: “It’s been almost three years since I was knocked off my bike, but my injuries were so bad that I’m still suffering.
“I’d been cycling for a lot of years before the crash and nothing like this had ever happened before. It was so quick but I remember feeling really scared at the time.
“I spent quite a long time in hospital and then in rehabilitation, and my recovery is ongoing. I’m having to re-learn a lot of what I knew before, and I really struggle with simple day-to-day things that I used to take for granted, such as speaking and remembering. What makes it worse is that my eyesight will never get better and it’s upsetting to know I’ll never be able to drive.
“Despite the challenges, however, I’m determined to get my life back on track and refuse to let my injuries get in the way. I’m still young and want to enjoy as much as possible.”
The proposed new Rule 163 sets out changes to passing distances for drivers, including 1.5 metres at speeds under 30mph, and a minimum of two metres at speeds over 30mph and for large vehicles in all conditions. The proposal also states that drivers should wait behind cyclists and not overtake if it is unsafe or not possible to meet these clearances.
Irwin Mitchell is an associate member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling and Walking.