A Kirkby woman left with serious injuries after a fatal eight-car crash on the M1 has spoken out about the dangers of driving while using a mobile phone.
Murray Simpson, from London, died in the crash in November 2014, and Liese Bowers-Straw, is still receiving ongoing medical care after sustaining a number of serious injuries.
In July, 38-year-old Christy George, of Lime Tree Road, Hucknall, was jailed for five years after being found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice.
George had been distracted because she was using her mobile phone, the court heard, and hit a lorry which crashed into the central reservation of the motorway, before hitting a BMW, travelling in the opposite direction. The driver of the BMW sadly died.
Liese was driving north on the M1 on her way back from work on the night of the crash. Her car was hit head-on in the collision and she broke her neck in two places, tore the muscles across her hips and stomach, lost her teeth, suffered a brain injury and suffered psychological trauma so severe she has been unable to leave her home in twenty months. She cannot look at or get in a car and has to close the curtains if she goes into a room at the front of her house because she cannot look at the road. She is a prisoner in her own home.
Now she has agreed to take part in a video warning motorists of the dangers of driving while using a mobile phone.
She said; “If I can stop just one other person suffering what I have suffered then it will be worthwhile.
“I remember seeing the headlights coming towards me where headlights shouldn’t be and I remember thinking that’s it, I’m a goner, I’m dead and then I don’t remember anything until the following day.
“The collision has completely changed my way of life. I have gone from having a career I loved, having a job that I loved, doing a lot of work, to being a prisoner in my own home doing absolutely nothing.
“Just think before you pick that mobile phone up. Is that text or call that important? Is that text or call worth a life? I don’t think so.”
Detective Constable 1761 Pete Davies was one of the investigating officers from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU). He said; “This was the largest collision site I have ever been to and it was a shock to see. It involved eight vehicles and the collision scene stretched for miles. As police officers we are constantly warning people about the dangers of distracted driving but I hope when people hear Liese’s story they will finally take notice.
“Texting, accessing the internet are all things that should not be done while driving. The roads are so busy now that I think people should concentrate on the road not on their phone nothing is that important that it cannot wait.
“Someone died in this collision and Liese has been left with the most appalling injuries as a result of someone who was too selfish to wait to make a call. When you have to knock on a door and tell someone that their loved one is not coming home then you realise just how damaging using a mobile phone can be.”