Mum speaks of car crash ordeal

A MUM of three has told the Ely Standard that she is lucky to be alive following a car crash in which she was left with chronic back injuries.

Amanda Veal was driving on the A1123 in Wilburton on January 24 last year when she was hit by Jody Arnold, who was on the wrong side of the road, as he attempted to turn right near his home in Millfield Place.

Mrs Veal suffered a badly broken arm, extensive bruising to her legs and chest, whiplash and a gash on her knee that required 20 stitches. Arnold, who was on his mobile phone minutes before the crash, was also hospitalised.

Now, more than a year on, Mrs Veal says she still has to see a specialist about her arm and has developed a fear of driving.

Speaking to the Ely Standard, she said: “Police investigators told me that if my car had been slightly older it could have been a lot worse. Because of the airbags I feel that I was very lucky.

She added: “I have to go to the chronic pain ward at Addenbrooke’s Hospital because I’m in such pain with my back and I still go to see a specialist about my arm.”

Mrs Veal said that in the months after the crash she was unable to care for her disabled daughter.

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Pleading guilty to a charge of dangerous driving at Cambridge Crown Court on Monday, 23-year-old Arnold avoided jail but was ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Sara Walker, prosecuting the case against Arnold, told the court that it was not possible to put Arnold on his phone at the time of the collision but phone records indicated that he was using his phone a minute and a half before a 999 call was made.

She added that, while he was in hospital, Arnold had shouted abuse at Mrs Veal, who was in a bed next to the 23-year-old, because he was upset that his car had been damaged.

Jonathan Seeley, mitigating, said that Arnold had no recollection of the incident and had suffered with symptoms of “post-concussion syndrome”, which included aggression and memory loss.

Sentencing, judge Jonathan Howarth said that while the accident had “severe consequences” the driving itself was not “ill-intentioned.”