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Ban For Provisional Licence Holder Who Left Cyclist Needing Major Surgeries After Crash

Victim Must Now Use A Wheelchair After His Right Leg Was Severely Damaged In Collision


A cyclist left disabled after he was struck by a car driven by an unaccompanied provisional licence holder has spoken of his life-changing injuries after the driver responsible for the crash was banned from driving for two years.


Phil Dyke, from Gosport was waiting at the junction of South Street in Gosport (Hants), preparing to turn right into Dock Road when the car pulled out of Dock Road and slammed into him, crushing his right lower leg and foot between the bike and the car bumper.


The 68-year-old production assistant instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell after the crash left him needing orthopaedic and plastic surgery.


Driver Graham Fitzpatrick, of San Diego Road, Gosport, was driving under a provisional licence, had not been displaying L-plates and was unaccompanied by a qualified driver when he crashed into Phil on April 13 this year.


Provisional licence holders are required by law to drive only if accompanied by someone over the age of 21 who has had a full driving licence for three years and is qualified to drive the same type of vehicle the provisional licence holder is driving.He failed to attend the initial court hearing on the August 8 this year and, in his absence, was found guilty of driving without due care and attention, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and driving without insurance. While Fitzpatrick was insured, the insurance was invalid as he was driving without a qualified driver accompanying him.


Fitzpatrick, who failed to attend court for sentencing was banned from driving for two years at Aldershot Magistrates Court last month (August 30).

The firm is now taking legal action against the driver’s insurers in order to secure funding to enable Phil to receive rehabilitative therapy and adaptations to his home which will help him retain his independence.


Following the crash, Phil needed surgery to repair his lower right leg and ankle which was all but severed.  The material required to repair the bone, soft tissue, muscle and skin has been taken from various parts of his body.


He was taken by air ambulance to Southampton General Hospital before being transferred to Salisbury District Hospital where he initially stayed for two-and-a-half weeks. He has since been in and out of hospital for treatments and surgeries, the most recent being earlier this month to stabilise his bones – his 11th operation to date, with more on the horizon.


The father-of-one is currently unable to weight bear and is reliant on a wheelchair when outside the house and a walking frame when at home.


His family home has a gravel driveway which is extremely difficult to manoeuvre a wheelchair over and he cannot gain access via the front door. Instead he has to get into the house via a conservatory door, but as this is up a step simply leaving and returning to the house is a painful and time-consuming endeavour.


He said: “I need help washing and dressing, preparing food and something to drink. The simplest tasks we all take for granted are now impossible for me to achieve alone – and all because of someone else’s mistake.


“My house is no longer a home for me. It is not easy or comfortable to get around. I can’t even move from one room to another without difficulty. My wife is now my carer, something neither of us could have prepared for. To say life is a struggle is an understatement.


“Nothing can turn back the clock and prevent what happened to me, and while hearing that the driver who struck me has been banned is encouraging, really I just want other drivers to be aware of the consequences of their recklessness, however momentary.


“I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”


Wife Tina has had to take time off work to care for Phil, cancelling numerous meetings including a business trip to Dubai and incurring the expense of sending a colleague in her place. 


Phil is hoping a settlement will pay for professional carers, enabling his wife to return to work.


Claire Howard, an expert serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing Phil, said: “The driver failed to brake, steer or otherwise control his vehicle so as to avoid a collision. As a result Phil has been left with horrific injuries forcing him and his family to put their lives on hold while he recovers as best he can.


“While it is a relief to Phil that the driver in his case has received a ban, it can’t change the fact that he will remain in a wheelchair for a significant time to come and will have to endure many hours of painful and challenging rehabilitation before he can achieve anywhere near the independence he enjoyed before the crash.


“We are now examining the court’s findings and will be working with the driver’s insurers to secure Phil a fair settlement which will hopefully set him on the road to a full recovery.”


Read more about the work of Irwin Mitchell's expert serious injury lawyers here.

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