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Mum Lucky To Be Alive After Horrific Head On Smash Supports Road Safety Week

Serious Injury Experts Working To Gain Vital Rehabilitation And Care Package


A mum-of-two who suffered horrific life changing injuries and lost her unborn baby in a head-on collision on a notoriously dangerous stretch of road has spoken out about the importance of motorists driving carefully and with consideration for others to keep all road users safe.

Gwen Cavaciuti, from Adsborough near Taunton, has joined forces with serious injury experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell, who are helping her in a legal battle for justice, to make the call during Road Safety Week, organised by the charity Brake, which runs from 19 to 25 November.

The 40-year-old, who required her left leg amputating below the knee because of the damage sustained, also suffered a serious brain injury, a stroke, multiple other fractures and lost her baby at 17 weeks as a result of the trauma caused by the crash on 1 March 2011.

The driver, whose car smashed head on into Gwen’s on the A38 between North Petherton and Taunton as she drove home from work, pleaded guilty to careless driving and was given six points on his licence and a £750 fine.

Gwen, who has managed to return to her job as Divisional General Manager at Weston Hospital, but on a part-time basis, says she knows of numerous other crashes on the same stretch of road in the last 18 months, including one where two people were killed.

Deborah Bigwood, a serious injury expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Bristol office is helping Gwen in her legal battle for justice and to gain access to the specialist rehabilitation and support she desperately needs to get her life back on track.

She said: “Gwen is lucky to be alive because of this driver’s careless actions, but lost her unborn child as a result of the catalogue of injuries she suffered which is understandably horrendous to come to terms with.

“She has made great progress but needs extensive rehabilitation and care to help her recover from her injuries and regain some quality of life. We are currently fighting to help provide this and also get her the specialist prosthetic leg and physiotherapy that will help her maximise her mobility.

“We have long supported Brake and the fantastic work it does raising awareness of safety on Britain’s roads. I hope this year’s road safety week makes people think twice about driving carelessly as Gwen’s case shows the devastating consequences it can have.”

Because of the amputation, Gwen struggles to get round the house and misses out on everyday tasks like putting her children to bed and playing games with them.

She spent nearly seven weeks in hospital, relied on a wheelchair for several months and had to take over 8 months off work before starting back on a part time basis.

Gwen said: “I don’t remember the crash but I will never forget learning of the horrific injuries I had suffered. I just couldn’t believe it was happening to me. I was so worried about my baby and my worst nightmare came true when I learnt of the miscarriage when I left intensive care 9 days after the crash.

“Then a few days after that, to lose my left leg was, and still is, very hard to come to terms with. It’s hard not to be very angry because our whole family’s lives have changed forever, and our baby didn’t even get to experience life, but the other driver can just carry on as normal.

“I’ve always been a very hands on mum and it’s so hard not to be able to play games with my children and tuck them in at night like I used to. I recently had further surgery on my leg which meant I was back in a wheelchair for a few weeks whilst I couldn’t wear a prosthetic and it is very frustrating, particularly as our house has a lot of stairs.

“The A38 is a notoriously dangerous road that regularly sees accidents and drivers need to be aware of this and take extra care when using the road. Lives have been unnecessarily lost or changed forever and it cannot go on.

“I am able to drive again now but I just hope all motorists think about the importance of Road Safety Week and what it stands for. I couldn’t live with ruining someone’s life because I wasn’t paying attention.

“Brake is a fantastic organisation that helps people and families who have been affected like we have and I’m proud to support the invaluable work it does alongside Irwin Mitchell.”