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Driver Sentenced After Leaving Girl In Coma With Severe Brain Injuries

Serious Injury Experts At Irwin Mitchell Now Assisting In Battle For Funds To Support Her Rehabilitation


The family of a 16-year-old girl who was left in a coma in a devastating car accident just over 18 months ago have expressed their relief as the driver responsible pleaded guilty to careless driving and was sentenced at Derby Crown Court (06.06.12).

Ellie Vardy, from Eckington, who was 14 at the time, was in the passenger seat of a car involved in a high-speed collision in September 2010. She suffered a severe brain injury, several broken bones, internal injuries and a broken neck, but has made an incredible recovery, to the relief of her family and friends.

Serious injury specialists at law firm Irwin Mitchell have been working with Ellie and her family to secure the necessary funds from a claim to help pay for her rehabilitation and treatment, which has assisted in her remarkable progress so far.  A new bungalow is currently being purchased so that Ellie can get around safely, and support has been provided to allow Ellie to return to her school in Eckington.

Kate Petchey, a brain injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell, represents Ellie’s family. She said: “Ellie has been incredibly brave during the period since her accident, and has really fought to make progress after the horrific injuries she suffered.

“Despite the significant changes to their lives and the effort they have put in to caring for Ellie, the family have still somehow found time to do some fantastic fundraising for Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where Ellie received specialist care after the collision.

“We hope this case serves as a reminder to drivers of the consequences of careless driving.”

The driver responsible pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention at Derby Crown Court. He was sentenced to a £250 fine, £850 costs, six points on his licence and required to re-take his driving test.

Ellie’s parents, Paul and Nicky, said: “We’re just relieved that the driver has taken responsibility and it is now over. All drivers need to ensure that the utmost care is taken on the roads as incidents such as this can have a massive impact on people’s lives.

“It’s been a hard time for us all and a lot has happened over the past 18 months.  Ellie finished her inpatient rehabilitation at The Children’s Trust specialist facility in Surrey in June last year, and we’re now happy to have her home again.

“It’s taken a long time but Ellie is now walking again, although she is unsteady on her feet. She has also learned to talk again and, even though her speech can sometimes be a bit unclear, we can understand what Ellie is saying, and it is such a relief to be able to communicate with our daughter again.

“Ellie’s recovery is far from complete but she’s working very hard to keep getting better, and she is a huge inspiration to us all.  Just seeing her get back to school and doing some of the normal every day things she is able to do is more than we ever hoped for.”

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a car accident, you may be able to claim compensation. See our Road Traffic Accident Claims page for more information