How Chiswick Community Helped Me Cope With Loss Of My Leg

Craig Sparrow was severely injured when he tried to stop a car reversing


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A Chiswick resident, who lost a leg after he tried to stop his car rolling with his two children inside has told of how support from the community helped him overcome his ordeal and resume his life. He even managed to take part in a ballroom dancing charity event last year.

The High Court this week ruled in favour of damages for Craig Sparrow following the incident in the car park of The Park Club, Acton three years ago. Mr. Sparrow, who was seeking damages, claimed that a car had shunted into his car which caused his car to roll backwards with his two children aged 9 and 11 inside.

As he tried to stop his car rolling by pushing it from the rear of the vehicle using his own strength, he was crushed and badly injured, requiring numerous operations and amputation of his left leg above the knee.

Mr. Sparrow, who is an engineer, and married with two children told that the family were relieved that the court case was over and that the "truth had prevailed".

"The last three years would have been unbearable without the support we have received from our friends and family but we would like to take this opportunity through to say thank you to the community that is Chiswick.

"Special mentions to Dan & Saskia at the Park Club & Hogarth Health Club, West London Pharmacy, Glebe St Surgery & the Thornton & Mayfield community. Chiswick has proven beyond any doubt that it is a community to be proud of," he said.

Mr Sparrow said in court that both cars were locked together after the crash but that as he left the driver’s seat to assess the damage the other driver began to drive away.

“I remember my children screaming loudly,” he said. “I turned to see my car moving towards me. I recall putting my hands on the car to stop it.

“I believed my children were in great danger but I could tell by the momentum I couldn’t stop the car. I was picked up with it. I had no opportunity to get out of the way.

"I remember a dull thud, a lot of pain then intense relief the car had come to a stop.”

He said the car headed toward a bin area with potentially dangerous items but it was stopped when it hit a post, trapping him.

“I looked down at my leg and couldn’t believe the amount of damage,” he said. “I remember my son getting out of the car and screaming and then he jumped back in the car.

"I took one or two steps backwards and could feel I was about to lose consciousness.”

The Defendant, Mr. Arnaud Andre, had first claimed that his Lexus 4X4 car had been stationary at the point of collision and that the Claimant (Mr. Sparrow) reversed out of the disabled bay into the path of his vehicle. He claimed the bumpers had touched and it was not a severe impact. However in cross-examination he accepted it was possible that the Claimant was correct and that he reversed into the Claimant's car.

The judge said that she concluded that the severity of the collision was more accurately described by the Claimant, whose evidence was supported in relation to noise by two witnesses. She did not believe the defendant's claim "plausible" that when he drove away without first getting out of his car to inspect the damage, or exchange particulars with Mr. Sparrow, that he was merely moving the car to let others pass.

The judge said that in her assessment the defendant had sought to minimise his involvement.

She also said that the claimant showed a contributory negligence as he had not put the car brake on. However the circumstances were unusual and she accepted that while a person would not normally try to hold back a reversing car, in this case the claimant acted because he believed his children were at risk.

April 18, 2016

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