Family Of Derbyshire Teenager Left Disabled After Suffering Brain Injury In Crash Speak Out Following Sentencing Of Driver
The family of a Derbyshire man left permanently disabled when he was knocked off his moped by a speeding driver have revealed the devastating impact his injuries have had on his life.
On 21 September 2021, Kyle Smith, 17, from Sandiacre, was riding his moped when he was hit by a Seat Ibiza close to the junction of London Road and Warwick Street in Derby.
Kyle was taken by ambulance to hospital where he was diagnosed with a severe traumatic brain injury.
As a result of the devastating injury to his brain, Kyle remains in a disordered state of consciousness. He is unable to hold his head up or to purposefully move himself without support. It is not clear how much he understands of what is going on around him – he cannot speak or reliably communicate with his family and carers. He requires round the clock support and monitoring.
Around 17 months on from the crash, Kyle has still not been able to return home. From being an inpatient in Nottingham and Leicester Hospitals, he moved to a specialist neurological rehabilitation unit in Sheffield in September, where his care includes input from neurology and neuropsychology specialists, physiotherapists and a nursing team.
Following the crash, Kyle’s family, instructed serious injury experts at Irwin Mitchell to help Kyle access the ongoing the specialist rehabilitation, support and therapies he requires to maximise his recovery.
His loved ones are now speaking out on Kyle’s injuries and how their lives have been ‘turned upside down.’ It comes after the driver of the car was jailed for 28 months at a hearing at Derby Crown Court on 7 February. He previously pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving. The court heard that he had been travelling at a speed of 60mph in a 30mph zone at the time of the incident.
Expert OpinionKate Venn, the serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Kyle and his family, said after the hearing: “Kyle’s life-changing injuries vividly highlight the devastating consequences road users can be left to face because of the actions of others.
Understandably, the past year has been incredibly difficult for Kyle and his family as they struggle to come to terms with what his injuries could mean for his future.
Sadly, in the blink of an eye, Kyle has gone from being an independent young man with a bright future, to someone who is catastrophically disabled and who requires 24-hour specialist care. The severity of Kyle’s injuries cannot be over-stated – this is one of the most serious and life-changing injuries I have seen in my 20 years of working with brain injury survivors. We are grateful that Kyle’s rehabilitation is now under way, but his prognosis remains uncertain and he faces many challenges.
While nothing can make up for what has happened to Kyle, we hope his case acts as a stark reminder to others for the need to stay safe on the roads at all times.
Kyle’s family are relieved that the sentencing means they can close that chapter of Kyle’s story. We will continue to support the family at this distressing time as they focus on Kyle’s rehabilitation and as they deal with whatever the future may hold for him.” Kate Venn, Serious Injury Lawyer
At the time of the crash, Kyle had just started a bricklaying course at Derby College having done his GCSEs in the summer of 2021 and was enjoying attending college. He lived at home with his mum Louise, dad Scott and his two younger sisters. He had lots of friends and enjoyed playing and watching football. He had been given the moped he was riding as a 16th birthday present.
Kyle’s Mum Louise said: “It’s been more than a year since Kyle’s crash, but the moment I was told what had happened to him is still so vivid that it feels like yesterday. I will never forget that day. Our lives have been turned upside down and things will never be the same again.
Before the accident, Kyle was always so full of fun and laughter. He could light up any room. He was a brilliant brother to his sisters and I was so proud of him.
“Watching Kyle struggle like he does now is heart-breaking and we all wish we could do more. I travel to see him in the rehabilitation unit in Sheffield pretty much every day now. I want to see Kyle and be there for him, but I also have Scott and our girls to think about. Kyle’s sisters have been through so much as well, seeing their older brother as he is now.
“As his family, we want to be strong for him, but it is so difficult and we know things will never go back to what they were like before. We’re thankful that Kyle is still with us, and he’s young so we are always hopeful. I just want to hear Kyle’s voice again and for him to smile at me like he used to.
“While none of us can turn back the clock and change what Kyle has been through, we’re grateful for today’s sentencing as at least he now has some justice and we can move on. No sentence will ever make up for what happened and the impact the actions of Mr Yearby have had on Kyle and on us as his family. He has taken away Kyle’s future. We just hope that by speaking out we can help prevent something similar happening to others. We urge road users to take care as we wouldn’t want anyone else to suffer like Kyle has.”
The driver, Isaac Yearby, 22, of Alvaston, Derby, was jailed for 28 months, of which he will serve half in prison. He was also disqualified from driving for a total of six years and four months.