‘Lucky to be alive’ - teenager’s plea to young drivers after surviving from this smashed up car

Thomas Semmons' vehicle after the crash.

Thomas Semmons' vehicle after the crash. - Credit: Archant

A teenage driver who was rescued from this smashed up vehicle said he feels lucky to be alive and has urged other young motorists to take care on the roads.

Thomas Semmons from Scarning, suffered serious injuries in a car crash - He wants to urge young driv

Thomas Semmons from Scarning, suffered serious injuries in a car crash - He wants to urge young drivers to take care on the roads. With him is gorlfriend Olivia Taylor. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Thomas Semmons escaped with serious but not life-changing injuries and is today continuing his long recovery to full health.

The 18-year-old suffered three broken ribs, a broken sternum, a punctured lung and partially collapsed lung, a broken shoulder blade, a broken side of a vertebrae, a dislocated collarbone and a broken cheekbone.

He returned to his home in Scarning, near Dereham, on Tuesday after being treated for nine days at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The crash has had a profound effect on Mr Semmons and with young drivers grossly overrepresented in crash statistics, he wants to use his experience to urge others to be extra careful.


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He said: 'I'm lucky to be alive. If I had been left there for longer without treatment the situation could have been much worse.

'I believe I'm a cautious driver but this shows you have to be so careful.'

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Mr Semmons crashed on Saturday, July 16 at around 9.50pm. He was driving home after seeing his girlfriend Olivia Taylor, in Aylsham.

The crash was on the B1145 between Aylsham and Cawston, a known accident blackspot. It was raining and Mr Semmons lost control of his vehicle after going through an adverse camber.

He slipped off the road and hit three trees before landing in woodland.

Mr Semmons, who passed his test eight months before the crash, said he was knocked out for a few seconds before he called 999.

It took emergency services an hour and half to get him safely out of the vehicle and they had to take off both doors, the windshield and part of the steering wheel.

Mr Semmons said: 'It's a waiting game for me now. My collarbone might not always be in the right place and my ribs might not be completely back to how they should be, but I will be able to live a normal life.

'It will be difficult when I start driving again and it will take time to build my confidence up.

'A friend's dad, who is a police officer, said he always drives defensively to prepare for other factors and that is something I'm taking on board. 'I see a lot of young people driving recklessly. Sometimes when I'm in a friend's car I don't feel 100pc safe.

'When we drive every day we don't always take on board how dangerous it can be.

'If you need to leave 10 minutes earlier to avoid rushing then just do it because it's not worth taking the risk.'

Mr Semmons also advised young drivers to consider using a black box insurance scheme, which monitors driving style rewards careful drivers with lower premiums.

He is now hoping to return to his job at Waitrose in Swaffham in a few weeks and aims to be fit to take part in a production of Sister Act with the Fakenham drama group FADLOS next year.

Are you campaigning for road safety? E mail adam.lazzari@archant.co.uk

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