‘I just feel like my old self died in that accident’ - Norwich crash victims speak about their life-changing injuries

Road traffic accident victim Kirsty Barber who gave the Evening News permission to use this photogra

Road traffic accident victim Kirsty Barber who gave the Evening News permission to use this photograph to show the consequences of speeding. - Credit: Archant

Three friends have spoken about their life-changing injuries after they were hit by a speeding driver.

Three of the victims seriously injured in the crash on Boundary Road, from left, Michaela Brighton,

Three of the victims seriously injured in the crash on Boundary Road, from left, Michaela Brighton, 20; Edward Mayhew, 23; and Kirsty Barber, 20. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Edward Mayhew, Michaela Brighton and Kirsty Barber were left hospitalised when a 'boy racer' smashed into their car at almost 70mph.

It happened as they were pulling out of a McDonald's drive through on Boundary Road, Hellesdon, on the evening of May 10, 2013.

The driver of the other vehicle, Danny Wright, 24, was jailed for two years at Norwich Crown Court on Wednesday for causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Despite the crash taking place more than three years ago, the trio have today spoken of the on-going impact it has had on their lives.

Michaela was just 17 at the time of the crash and had ambitions to go into childcare after completing a two-year course at the Open Academy.

But she suffered brain damage and has on-going memory loss following the crash, meaning she may never get to pursue her career.

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'I find myself zoning out sometimes and I have problems with my speech, so people have to speak for me,' the 20-year-old said.

'The recovery process was also really hard because my family had to look after me and wash me, so I lost my dignity.

'I just feel like my old self died in that accident.'

Michaela, who lives in north Norwich, spent around one month in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

She was in a coma after the crash and suffered a fractured pelvis, a lacerated liver and damage to her trachea.

The extent of her injuries left her wheelchair-bound for two months and she now has scars on her stomach and neck.

Meanwhile, Kirsty, who lives in Sprowston, said she had no recollection of the crash.

The 20-year-old was sent to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge after a blood clot to the brain caused her to have a stroke.

It resulted in her temporarily losing feeling in her left side of her body.

The former Sprowston High School student said: 'When I came out of hospital I had to have physio where I learned to walk and swallow again.

'Now I'm constantly tired all of the time and they say that is the result of the stroke.

'I am back to normal, but I have not got all my feeling back in my left hand and my mouth.'

The pair were sitting in the back of a Vauxhall Corsa when a Ford Mondeo, driven by Wright, collided with them.

He had been travelling around 68mph in a 40mph zone at the time, and was overtaking a car and motorbike.

Edward Mayhew, from Old Catton, was driving the Corsa at the time of the accident.

He was left with a broken pelvis, bruised lung, bruised spleen and a laceration to the heart.

The 23-year-old said: 'I remember the paramedics knocking on the window asking if I was okay. I said yes and then blacked out.

'I couldn't do any sport for a year after the accident because I was aching from my injuries and my pelvis was weak.

'I don't feel as confident as I used to and I now get regular panic attacks, which I guess is from the car crash.

'I'm just happy to be alive. If he had been going 10mph faster, we were told we would be dead.'

The fourth passenger in the car, Liam Henning, 23, suffered a lacerated spleen and chipped teeth.

All four friends were in court on Wednesday as Wright, of Reepham Road, Hellesdon, was jailed.

Sentencing him, Recorder Alasdair Wilson said: 'You accept in those days you were a bit of a boy racer.

'Your driving was stupid. You had a number of convictions for speeding, one of them a year or so before this accident.'

But he accepted that Wright now felt remorse and had matured since the crash.

Have you recently been a victim of crime? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684

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