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Prospective Boxer’s Dream Ended In Sheffield Car Crash

Serious Injury Victim Speaks Out about Fatal Accident


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

A promising amateur boxer left seriously injured as a passenger in a fatal car crash says drivers need to ensure they take more care on the roads after finding out he may never be able to box again.

Speaking out for the first time since the crash, 20-year-old Jack Battle says that he has seen first-hand the devastating consequences of unsafe driving.

Jack was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by another friend, Joseph Woolhouse, on Far Lane in Sheffield. Mr Woolhouse lost control of his vehicle, resulting in a crash into a lamp-post before overturning and hitting a wall. Sadly, Lewis Shaw, 20, another passenger in the vehicle, was killed. A third passenger also suffered cuts and bruises in the accident in August 2012.

Jack spent eight days in the High Dependency Unit at the Northern General Hospital, where it was found he was suffering from fractured ribs and severe internal injuries to his right kidney. He has suffered from nightmares and flashbacks.

The driver of the vehicle, Mr Woolhouse, was sentenced to three years in prison for causing death by dangerous driving at a criminal trial last month. At trial, there was conclusive evidence obtained from a ‘Black Box’ indicating that Mr Woolhouse was driving at 67 mph in a 30 mph zone. Following his conviction, Mr Woolhouse was banned from driving for a period of five years and will have to sit an extended test before he can get behind the wheel again.

Jack is now working with a expert serious injury solicitor, David Withers, at Irwin Mitchell to help get access to specialist treatment he needs to help with his recovery. This is a necessity, after discovering that he will need to see a urologist every year for the remainder of his life; something which will prevent the former Yorkshire boxing champion from pursing his dream of becoming professional.

Following the criminal trial, Mr Woolhouse’s insurers admitted full liability which means Jack’s legal team at Irwin Mitchell can now secure interim payments to ensure he receives the treatment, care and rehabilitation he needs for the remainder of his life.

David Withers, a specialist serious injury solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, representing Jack said: “This was a tragic incident in which a young man sadly lost his life and our client, Jack, was left seriously injured. He sustained a brain injury and a significant injury to his kidney. He will require regular reviews by specialist clinicians for the remainder of his life. He is unlikely to be able to pursue his dream of becoming a professional boxer.

“We are working with Jack and medical specialists to ensure he now gets the care and rehabilitation treatment he needs to help him recover as much as possible.

“Jack’s case highlights the devastating consequences of dangerous driving and I hope that by raising awareness about road safety, all drivers will recognise the responsibility they have when they get behind the wheel. As part of my role, I see the truly devastating impact of catastrophic injuries both to the injured individual and to their family and friends.”

Before the crash, Jack had thrown himself into training and had serious ambitions of becoming a professional or at least a semi-professional boxer. He has previously been a former Yorkshire champion; he was on the verge of boxing for England.

Jack, who lives with his mother and his step-father in Hillsborough, Sheffield, said: “It’s been the worst year of my life. Following the crash, I remember being in the worst pain I’ve ever been in and I immediately wanted to know if I would be able to box again. I now understand that with my kidney injuries, it’s very unlikely.

“Boxing was my life and although I will never be able to train properly again at least I will be able to get help with my injuries and can learn to do something else in future. Nothing will ever bring Lewis back and I hope other drivers learn from our situation and watch their speed on the roads.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Road Traffic Accident claims.