Parent And Lawyers Speak Out After Driver Sentenced Over Crash In Which Toddler Suffered Fractured Spine
A mum has issued a road safety warning after she and her two young daughters were seriously injured in a crash.
Magda Polinska and her girls Alice and Maya were hurt when a vehicle crashed head on into their car in Merthyr Tydfil.
Alice, then aged 18 months was the most seriously injured, suffering a fractured spine. Doctors initially feared that if she did survive there was every chance she would be paralysed.
Following the collision Magda, of Cwmbran, instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help the family access the specialist support and rehabilitation they require because of their injuries.
Magda, age 31, has now joined her legal team at Irwin Mitchell in urging drivers to take care on the roads. It comes after Alice has defied the odds to walk again. The driver has been sentenced for causing the collision.
Expert Opinion“Magda and her children have faced an incredibly difficult few months following the collision, both physically and emotionally.
“The seriousness of what happened can’t be downplayed with doctors initially fearing that Alice may not recover. While Alice has shown tremendous courage and fight to defy the odds, she still faces many challenges to overcome her injuries the best she can.
“Nothing can make up for what the family have been through but we’re determined to support them so they can access the ongoing specialist support they require. We also hope that their case acts as a stark reminder of the consequences people can be left to face because of the dangerous actions of other road users.” Deborah Rose - Partner
The collision happened on the evening of 30 November, 2021, on the A467 between Aberbeeg and Llanhilleth. The driver responsible vehicle, Matthew Lane, lost control of his VW Golf on a bend, causing a head on collision with Madga’s vehicle which was travelling in the opposite direction.
Cardiff Crown Court heard independent witness testimony from a road user travelling behind Lane’s vehicle, indicating that the VW Golf had in the moments prior to the collision veered onto the incorrect side of the road before returning to its correct lane. The Court heard from the witness that it appeared to him that the driver was “nodding off at the wheel” and that “it was an accident waiting to happen”.
Magda suffered a broken wrist and facial injuries. Maya and Alice were in the back seat. Maya suffered a broken arm and bruising. Her sister suffered a fractured spine between the first and second vertebrae in her neck.
Alice was taken to the paediatric intensive care unit at the Children's Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. She was sedated and put in halo traction to keep her completely still.
After 12 weeks of treatment she took her first steps unaided.
Magda said: “The crash happened so quickly and the aftermath remains a bit of blur. However, seeing Alice in hospital afterwards is something that will remain with me.
“She went from a happy, smiling and inquisitive toddler to one laid up in hospital for several months with us not knowing what the future may hold for our family. To be told that your baby has been seriously injured and may not survive, or if they do they may be paralysed, is something no parent wants to hear.
“It was an awful time for us. Alice and Maya are like peas in a pod and Maya not having her little sister around also really affected her. We went from being a really tight knit family to one spending so much time apart.
“We can’t thank enough all of the emergency services, the doctors and nurses and others for everything they’ve done to help Alice and our family. We’ll be forever indebted to them.
“Alice has made an amazing recovery and we’re so proud of the determination she has shown. However, despite this she does still face challenges and things aren’t back to normal.
“Alice will continue to have regular appointments to review and monitor her progress.
“We’re just an ordinary family who do ordinary things. However, what happened to us shows that anyone’s life can be changed in a split-second by others not taking care on the roads.
“We just hope that by speaking out we can make others be aware of the consequences their actions can have and the need to obey the law.”
The driver responsible for the collision, Matthew Lane, age 39 of Abergavenny, pleaded guilty to three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and a count of possessing a Class C drug, unprescribed Diazepam.
He was sentenced to a custodial sentence of two years and disqualified from driving for five years.
Find out more about our expertise in supporting families following road crashes at our dedicated serious injury section.