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Care assistant appeals for witnesses after 4x4 crushes foot on crossing
A Stockport care assistant still unable to return to work more than a year after a 4x4 drove over her foot on a pelican crossing, has appealed for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.
Mum-of-three Nicola Ingleson has endured a year of pain after the Nissan Navara crushed her foot as she was crossing the road near her home in Bredbury. “It’s been an awful year,” said Nicola, 34. “Since last summer I’ve only been able to get around using a walking frame or crutches. It means that working as a care assistant has been impossible, and just doing everyday things like looking after the kids is really difficult.”
Nicola’s foot and ankle are still horrifically swollen and painful more than 12 months after the incident on 7 June 2012, which saw the driver of the large 4x4 repeatedly run over her foot after apparently failing to realise she was there.
“I was going to do some shopping and was walking along Stockport Road West, near the junction that leads to the Morrisons and Homebase retail park,” said Nicola, 34. “It was lunchtime, so it was quite busy. I used the same crossings I always do and waited for the green man to come on. I checked for traffic anyway - just by force of habit - and when I saw there was nothing coming I began to cross.
“I had only taken one or two steps when I was suddenly hit on my leg by a big silver vehicle. It seemed to come from my left but I hadn’t seen it approaching,” she said. “It dragged me down onto the road and the front wheel went straight over my foot. It stopped with the wheel actually still on top of my foot,” she said.
As Nicola laid on the ground in agony, the driver – who, it seems, was unaware she was under his vehicle – rolled backwards off her ankle, before incredibly driving forward and stopping the 4x4 on her foot a second time.
“I was just lying there in the road, screaming and shouting,” said Nicola, “but he hadn’t seen me and obviously couldn’t understand what his wheel was getting stuck on,” she said.
After a third attempt to drive over Nicola’s foot, the driver finally noticed her on the ground, reversed off her and stopped his car. “The driver and a passer-by came to check on me and called for help,” she said. “The pain was excruciating, I’ve never known anything like it. My foot just looked like it had been squashed, there was a lot of blood and I was terrified I was going to lose it. I was taken to hospital by ambulance, and didn’t go home again for three weeks.”
Nicola, of Goyt Valley Walk, sustained a severe fracture to her left ankle, which required surgery to insert plates and screws in her lower leg and ankle. She also had a rod fitted through her big toe to keep the metalwork in place and underwent painful skin graft operations, with skin taken from her back and thigh being used to rebuild her crushed ankle.
More than a year after the incident, Nicola is still unable to walk unaided and the injury is taking its toll. “My foot and ankle are still massively swollen and painful,” she said. “I have to wear a big support boot, I can’t get around without help and that means it’s a real struggle with everything,” she said. “Not only has it meant that I haven’t been able to work since, but things like cooking, cleaning, dressing, bathing – it’s all made doubly difficult,” she said. “Without my husband and family to help I don’t know quite how I’d manage.”
Now, lawyers acting for Nicola are hoping that anyone who witnessed the incident will come forward and help in her fight for compensation. Vicki Hancock, of Fentons Solicitors LLP, urged anyone who saw what happened to get in touch.
“Nicola has been unable to work since June last year, putting the family under enormous financial pressure,” she said. “She has endured constant and significant pain, surgeries and numerous courses of rehabilitation, and has been left with scarring from the areas where she has undergone skin grafts. If we are to secure Nicola the compensation she is entitled to, we really need to put together a full picture of just what happened that day.”
Miss Hancock said that the recent heat wave had been causing particular problems for Nicola. “Unlike many in the country, Nicola has not been enjoying the sun at all,” she said. “The incredibly hot weather has caused her foot to swell even more than usual, so much so that she developed a rash from wearing her protective ‘airboot’ and now literally cannot fit her foot into it. On top of everything else, she is suffering with raw and blistered skin.”
Miss Hancock said that although there are several CCTV cameras in the area of the retail park, there are none which cover this particular crossing or junction.
“We do know the area was busy with shoppers and we’re sure that not all the witnesses have come forward yet,” she said. “We’re hoping anyone who saw what happened will get in touch and help us get the full picture of what happened as we try to secure Nicola the compensation that will help her move on from this ordeal.”
Can you help?
If you remember seeing the incident on Stockport Road West, near the junction that leads to Morrisons and Homebase - at around 12.30pm on Thursday 7 June 2012, or if you have information which you think might help, please contact Vicki Hancock at Fentons Solicitors LLP on 0161 238 6490. Alternatively please e-mail Vicki.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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