Man awarded £1.1m in damages after losing leg in crash at RAF Leconfield

Published: Thursday 16th April 2015 by KCFM

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An RAF driving instructor who lost his leg following an accident in Leconfield has been paid £1.1m in damages following a 5 year legal battle.

The former serviceman, who doesn’t wish to be named,  suffered a double fracture to his leg when he was knocked off his motorbike by a car as he left  the Defence School of Transport at Normandy Barracks in 2010.

Complications during surgery meant that the 58-year-old was in constant pain and unable to work. He ultimately opted to have his leg amputated below the knee.

The instructor, who doesn’t wish to be named, said it was excruciating:

“I was in agony all of the time, it was constant. I couldn’t cope with anything touching my leg.

“I was only getting three hours sleep at night, and I couldn’t stand up for any length of time. My leg felt constantly cold and it became blue. I was getting spasms down my left side and I was only able to get around my house at home by shuffling around on my backside.

“In the end, I went to see a consultant and took the decision to have my leg amputated at the knee. I couldn’t face the constant pain any longer.”

Following the amputation, he went on to suffer from phantom limb, sensory hallucinations and severe spasms, and struggles with his mobility.

The Ministry of Defence admitted they had failed to ensure that the temporary car park was safe for employees and visitors, and agreed to pay the instructor £935,000 in damages. He will receive a further £165,000 in damages from the insurers of the other driver.

James Burrell from Neil Hudgell Solicitors’ said:

“Given the nature of work carried out at the RAF Leconfield site with regards to driver training, it is incomprehensible to suggest that people there were not aware of the dangers in the temporary car park given the chaotic parking situation.

“The management at the site simply failed to take any adequate care for those using the car park, exposing those who used it to a foreseeable risk of injury.

“Our client was a qualified driving instructor of vast experience. He knew the dangers having seen them first hand day to day, yet still he was unable to predict and avoid this devastating, life-changing injury.

“Such were his concerns over the safety on the site, and due to there being mud on the road, he was driving with extra care and slowly as he headed towards the exit. It was then that he was suddenly hit by the car from his left as it came from behind a large parked van.

“Had the proper provisions been in place, and the car park had clear signage and dedicated entrance and exit points, this accident simply would not have happened.

“Our client has faced some very difficult times over the past five years, and he and his family will continue to do so as he continues to adapt to life with his injuries. We hope the damages we have secured for him, and the rehabilitation programmes he has had access to, will help him adapt and enjoy the best quality of life possible going forward.”

The MOD has so far been unavailable for comment.

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Published: Thursday 16th April 2015 by KCFM

Comments (1)
  • Rod Evans

    This accident took place at the Defence School of Transport, Normandy Bks, Leconfield. RAF Leconfield ceased to exist in April 1977. The Army have occupied the camp for 38 years, how long does it take for the media to realise!!

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