Mumís plea for witnesses after daughter left with serious head injuries

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Mumís plea for witnesses after daughter left with serious head injuries

30th August 2012

The mother of a young woman who was left with neurological problems after being hit by a car in Manchester city centre has appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Shona Howard (pictured) was knocked down just after midnight on Saturday 5 May this year, as she made her way across Portland Street, returning from a break at the busy bar where she was working. After crossing three lanes of stationary traffic, the 20-year-old student from Little Hulton was struck in the side by a black cab, which knocked her to the ground and caused serious head injuries.

Now her mother, Shana, is hoping anyone who was in the area that night and who witnessed the incident will come forward to help in the fight to get her daughter the assistance she needs.

“Shona was working bar shifts on a trial basis at the Satan’s Hollow club,” said Mrs Howard. “She has done casual work there in the past, and liked working there. At midnight on the Friday night, she was told to take a break and had gone to get a soft drink from a local shop. She was knocked over on her way back to work.”

Mrs Howard, 38, said her daughter had been left devastated by the incident. “Shona remembers walking outside to get a drink,” she said. “She remembers that it was raining and she’d crossed three of the four lanes on her way back towards work when the taxi smashed into her left side. Then the next thing she remembers is talking to a nurse on the High Dependency ward, four or five days later.”

Mrs Howard, a sales administrator, said that witnesses at the scene had described seeing Shona sitting in the road after the collision. “She wasn’t talking,” she said. “She seemed to be drifting in and out of consciousness. She spent four days in Intensive Care before being moved to the High Dependency Unit where she finally came round and where they told us how badly she had been injured.”

As well as numerous cuts and bruises, Shona suffered a subdural haematoma – bleeding on the brain – which led to her condition. “It’s like she’s a child again,” said Mrs Howard. “She gets really tired very easily, after just a few minutes doing something simple like walking round the supermarket. Her speech is sometimes slurred, she suffers from short-term memory loss, she has problems seeing things clearly and she has difficulty understanding some things. She also veers to the left when she’s walking.”

As a student at Eccles College, Shona achieved a triple distinction in her BTEC National Diploma in Art & Design, which led to her taking a degree course in Fashion Styling & Image Makingat Salford University.

“She always applied herself and was hoping to get a First in her degree,” said Mrs Howard. “Photography was her passion, and something she was incredibly gifted at. She took a break in her studies during her second year this year, and was working to earn her living expenses rather than claim benefits. Now we don’t know if she’ll be able to return to her studies at all.”

Stephen Hill, a specialist serious injury lawyer with Fentons Solicitors LLP representing the family, said even if witnesses had already given their accounts to police, he still needed them to get in touch with him as soon as possible.

“Although doctors have yet to determine the full extent of Shona’s injuries and how long her recovery might take, she clearly faces a future of intensive rehabilitation and will need specialist medical care, help and assistance,” he said. “If we are to secure the funds to help her family pay for that care, we urgently need witnesses to come forward to help us piece together exactly what happened,” he said.

Mr Hill said the injuries Shona sustained were so serious she is simply unable to remember specific details about the collision.

“That area of Portland Street would have been filled with people at the time of the incident, and we know that there were several people who witnessed Shona being struck by the cab,” he said. “We are urging anyone who might have helpful information – no matter how small or insignificant they think it might be – to get in touch.

“All information will be treated in the strictest confidence and the slightest detail could be hugely significant to Shona and her family.”

Can you help?If you remember seeing the incident in Portland Street, Manchester, at around 12.15am on Saturday, 5 May 2012, please contact Stephen Hill at Fentons Solicitors LLP in confidence on 0161 238 6404 or e-mail stephen.hill@fentons.co.uk.

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