Teenage crash survivor Thomas Semmons talks about how his life has changed

Thomas Semmons talks about road safety at the Sixth Form College, Dereham. Pictures: David Bale

Thomas Semmons talks about road safety at the Sixth Form College, Dereham. Pictures: David Bale - Credit: Archant

A teenage crash survivor has spoken about being in training for a marathon, and the scars he will always have, after a serious road crash.

Thomas Semmons, 19, from Scarning, near Dereham, has been visiting schools and colleges as part of the #impact campaign to educate young drivers about road safety.

He was seriously injured after losing control of his car in bad weather on the B1145 in Norfolk last summer.

He returned to Dereham today to talk to students at Dereham Sixth Form College.

It was his seventh talk to students, with eight more to go, and he said: 'It was good coming back to Dereham, as I went to Northgate High School, and I know a lot of people who came here.

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'If you had told me this time last year that this would be what I would be doing now, I would not have believed it. But it's nice to give something back and I'm enjoying it.'

Getting up before dozens of students may seem a daunting task to many, but he said it was not 'alien' to him, as he belonged to Fadlos, Fakenham & District Light Operatic Society, and was used to performing.

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The management trainee at Waitrose in Swaffham is fit enough to be training for a marathon in Exmoor, Devon, in April.

But he said he would bear the physical scars of the crash for the rest of his life.

He said: 'I still have physiotherapy and will need an operation on my hand to remove grit still in it. I treat the scars on my face with cream. I will always have scars on my face. There will always be a reminder of it.'

The scariest thing about the crash was the impact it had on family and friends, he said.

'I've got no mental scars, but the crash did come back to me recently when I saw fire crews and ambulances at an accident in Easton,' he added.

The #Impact campaign was launched by Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green in November 2016.

Phyllis O'Grady, the director of Dereham Sixth Form, added: 'Teaching this age group, many of whom will be taking driving lessons during their time here and experiencing their first months as young drivers, we are acutely aware of how vulnerable they are, especially in the poor driving conditions at this time of year.'

The campaign is actively supported by Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and the East of England Ambulance Service.

The initiative will move on to Thetford Academy tomorrow.

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