Reunited for Christmas, the family forced to live apart after husband loses both legs in horrific dustcart crash

John King.

John King. - Credit: Archant

A family are making tracks to move on with their lives in time for Christmas 11 months after a devastating dustcart accident left Dad of six John King needing both legs amputating.

John King.

John King. - Credit: Archant

The family has been torn apart by the crash which left Mr King living in a special rehabilitation unit, two of their children living with their grandparents and another child suffering bullying problems because of their Dad's injuries.

Refuse lorry collision in Hostmoor rd March.

Refuse lorry collision in Hostmoor rd March. - Credit: Archant

The year 2013 started with a terrible blow for the family when on January 25 Mr King was travelling as a passenger in a dustcart on his way to work when the cart was in collision with a lorry.

The impact totally crushed the front of the vehicle leaving the 49 year old in a coma and both legs requiring amputation to save his life.

His colleague Michael Bagridge lost his left leg and the driver Alan Smith has suffered mentally since the accident, the cause of which is still unclear.


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Now, the King family are ending their year with the news that they are moving into a new home where at last they can live together again as a family unit.

Speaking from his room at Askham House care home in Doddington, Mr King said: 'It's been a real struggle being apart from Sarah and the children.

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'Losing my legs is one thing but the most difficult thing is not being with my family. It has been very hard.'

Sarah, 35, added; 'It's badly affected our family, one of our daughter's has developed alopecia and has been bullied and although the school have dealt with it very well, it is a constant worry about how her days will be.'

Two of their children, one of whom is registered disabled, have moved in with Sarah's parents to make life easier.

Sarah said: 'It's all been such a lot of worry but at last it looks like we can be together as a family.'

The couple have been waiting for a specially adapted housing association home to be offered in the March area, but with the growing awareness that nothing is likely to come up that is both wheelchair friendly and big enough for six children, the couple are taking on a private rented home and paying for the necessary alterations themselves.

Work includes creating a wheelchair friendly pathway instead of the current gravel one, making doorways wider, creating a wet room in an annexe downstairs and turning the dining room into a bedroom.

The move will mean the end of weekend trips, funded by Fenland District Council, to visit their Dad for children Jennifer, 14, Kristina, 13, Laura, 11, April, 10, David, 6 and Stephanie, 3.

Mr King, who was a dustman for 26 years for Fenland will need daily physiotherapy and hydrotherapy until he is able to walk unaided with prosthetic legs.

'My goal is to walk my girls down the aisle, that's my focus,' he said.

'I'm still here to tell the tale. Moving into a new home feels like a positive step.'

A spokesman for Fenland Council said: ''Everyone here would like to send John and Sarah and their family every good wish for the future.

'They have coped remarkably well since the terrible accident and we're delighted for them that they'll all be reunited in time for Christmas.'

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