Young driver Jamie Gibbs’ bike ride in memory of Lowestoft teenager Taylor High who died in crash
A young man whose careless driving led to the death of his best friend is taking part in a gruelling cycle event to raise money in his memory.
Jamie Gibbs, 21, was given a 12-month suspended jail sentence last year after the car that he was driving was involved in a crash on the A17 in west Norfolk in which 19-year-old Taylor High died.
But now, 10 months on from the tragedy and as he recovers from serious injuries, Jamie, from Lowestoft, is preparing to take part in a 20- to 30-mile professional mountain bike race in aid of the Taylor High Memorial Fund in Thetford on January 29.
He said: 'I will put the effort in knowing I'm raising funds for Taylor. I'm sure I will come last, as it is a professional race and I have only started riding again a few weeks ago, but it is the participation that counts.'
The friends were on their way to Skegness when the crash happened at Tilney All Saints, near King's Lynn, last March. Taylor, of Hopelyn Close, Lowestoft, suffered fatal injuries.
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Jamie sustained a broken femur, broken clavicle, broken pelvis and fractured most of his ribs.
He also ruptured his diaphragm and suffered from collapsed lungs and a serious head injury, which caused brain damage.
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It was only a few weeks ago that he finally came off the crutches.
After Taylor's death, his parents, Gary and Elaine High, set up the memorial fund to raise money for good causes in the Lowestoft area. They have already raised more than �11,000.
Jamie said he was grateful for the support he had received from Taylor's family and friends since the crash and had been keen to do what he could to help their fund-raising efforts.
He said: 'Taylor and I shared so many experiences and memories – we had three holidays together and several trips, played football together, fished together... hundreds of activities, you name it, we did it.
'He will always be with me in my heart and my idol. Taylor taught me to appreciate every moment, to have fun and every day show a smile so I'm trying to do that.
'His family is a strong family, their strength is an astonishing inspiration. It has definitely helped me get by and get on with my life over the last several months,' he added.
Mrs High said she was encouraged to see Jamie preparing for his fund-raising bike ride. 'It is quite a feat as it's only 10 months ago since he was in his coma,' she added.