Taxi driver unable to play with baby daughter after suffering serious injury caused in head on crash

Image credit: Irwin Mitchell

A taxi driver has been left unable to play with his baby daughter because of serious injuries suffered when a vehicle crashed into his cab, causing it to burst into flames.

Antony Gray had to be pulled from his burning cab after a car which had veered onto the wrong side of Sheffield Road, Barnsley, ploughed head-on into his vehicle.

The 44-year-old’s legs were broken. He also suffered a shattered left hip and knee as well as a head injury. His teenage passenger suffered a bleed on the brain and fractured eye socket.

Following the collision Antony - who had recently married Cristiane, who was seven months pregnant with their first child at the time, instructed a law firm to help investigate.

However, the couple, of Cudworth, Barnsley, then asked expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to take over their case.

Since then the injury lawyers has secured a substantial interim payment for Antony to help him gain back some of his independence, and funds to pay for Antony’s rehabilitation and vocational assessments to help him retrain and return to work. His injuries mean Antony has had to give up his career as a driver.

Antony is now using Road Safety Week to speak for the first time about the impact his injuries have had on his family and how is unable to help look after or play with his daughter Victoria, now 19-months-old.

The crash happened just before midnight on 20 January 2019. Antony was knocked unconscious by the impact. When he came round he noticed flames in his vehicle. Passers-by came to his rescue and helped Antony, who could not walk because of his injuries, out of his cab.

He was taken to Northern General Hospital where he underwent a number of operations and spent more than three weeks.

Antony, who had been a taxi driver for 12 years, had seven screws fitted in his left hip and knee as well as 10 metal pins in his right leg. His right leg remains disfigured and he requires a walking stick.

Image: Antony Gray with wife Cristiana and daughter Victoria (Irwin Mitchell)

He said: “All I remember is coming round and seeing flames in the cab. I was in so much pain and couldn’t move. Then two men came and dragged pulled me out of the cab to safety. After only a few seconds of being laid beside the road away from the fire I looked back at my car and the engine exploded. All I could think of was Cristiane being pregnant at home and I looked down at my lower body that was severely broken and damaged.

“The next thing I remember was opening my eyes in a hospital bed seeing my wife and mother crying. I was covered in wires with machines beeping all around me. All I could think of was my baby that was due to arrive soon and I was in such a state.

“We were so excited for the future and Victoria’s birth but a lot of that changed overnight.”

Antony was allowed home from hospital in a wheelchair which he was still in when Cristiane gave birth.

He said starting rehabilitation and his faith from being a member of Love Life UK Church, founded by former Barnsley footballer Bruce Dyer, have played a major role in his progress.

Image: Antony Gray and Bruce Dyer (Irwin Mitchell)

Antony added: “Not being able to help care for Victoria has been the most difficult thing to accept. Even when she was a newborn the only way I could feed her was when sat down and Cristiane had to pass her to me.

“I still can’t lift her up or take her upstairs because my injuries mean I don’t have the strength I should and I’d risk dropping her. Now Victoria is developing more and becoming inquisitive I should be chasing her round and playing with her, but I just can’t do that.