Gorleston woman sues driver over lost leg

A young woman who lost her leg when an 86-year-old motorist ploughed into a group of pedestrians is suing for compensation of more than �300,000.

Emma Woolnough, 27, had her left leg amputated after three operations when surgeons battled unsuccessfully to save the limb.

Now Miss Woolnough, of Upper Cliff Road, Gorleston, is demanding damages from Allan Skoyles, who was deaf, had survived eight heart operations, and suffered a stroke.

The accident happened outside a church in Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, when he mistakenly pressed the accelerator instead of the brake pedal. His Ford Focus mounted the pavement and he hit an elderly couple, Joyce and Arthur Willett, and Miss Woolnough.

Mr Willett, 78, died three months after the crash and his family believe the accident led to a deterioration in his health.

Skoyles, of Victoria Road, Gorleston, was given a suspended eight month sentence for dangerous driving, fined �2,000 with costs of �250, and banned from driving for three years. At Norwich Crown Court, Judge Peter Jacobs said he couldn't believe that Skoyles was still allowed to drive.

Miss Woolnough says she was walking to work when she was hit by his car, and pinned to the wall. Skoyles' insurers Royal and Sun Alliance admitted liability for the accident in February 2008, according to a High Court writ.

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Miss Woolnough says her leg was amputated below the knee, but her right leg was also injured, needing skin grafts, and she will need aids and equipment for the rest of her life. She will also need further surgery, and suffered psychological injuries as a result of the accident.