Appeal for witnesses from Yeovil brain injury victim

Yeovil Express: ANTONY Richardson. ANTONY Richardson.

A YEOVIL cyclist who suffered a serious brain injury when he was involved in a head-on collision has appealed for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.

Antony Richardson spent several weeks in a medically-induced coma following the crash, which happened on August 1 last year on Lyde Road.

Although he eventually regained consciousness and subsequently returned home, Mr Richardson, 39, suffered a catalogue of injuries including a serious brain injury.

He has no recollection of the incident itself, and he is now appealing through his lawyer for any witnesses to help piece together exactly what happened, to help him secure the long-term care and treatment he will need.

Vijay Mehan, a specialist serious injury lawyer with Slater & Gordon, said that Mr Richardson was lucky to be alive.

“This was a horrific incident, one which has had a catastrophic impact on Antony and his family,” said Mr Mehan.

“Antony was riding his bike along Lyde Road, near to the junction which forms the entrance to the Lidl supermarket, when he collided head-on with a vehicle coming in the other direction.”

Mr Richardson, of Marlborough Road, was propelled through the air in the collision and suffered a number of injuries including a broken cheek bone, fractures to his right thigh and further broken bones in his calf, shin and foot.

Whilst in hospital he also developed septic shock, but by far the most serious of his injuries was to his head.

“He sustained a catastrophic brain injury,” said Mr Mehan.

“He was placed in an induced coma for several weeks, endured a tracheotomy operation to enable him to breathe and then underwent brain surgery to treat severe bleeding in his skull.

"As with any serious brain injury the long-term damage can take months if not years to fully manifest, but Antony undoubtedly needs one-to-one care, both immediately and in the future.”

Mr Richardson’s mother, Vivian Langdon, moved into her son’s home to look after him following the incident, and said that although he has spent the last year recovering from his injuries he is unlikely to ever work again.

“Since the accident he has developed double vision, which might be a permanent condition,” said Ms Langdon.

“Sometimes it gets so bad that he just keeps one eye closed all day so it doesn’t make him feel so unwell.”

Ms Langdon said her son also suffers with a loss of feeling down one side of his body and that he has undergone a significant personality change as a result of the injury.

“Antony was a very independent man, and was happy, friendly and outgoing. But the injury has left him needing help and assistance all the time, which has led to him suffering from depression.

“I moved in to help him with his daily care, but the effects of the accident are not just physical. He has developed major anxiety issues, especially when travelling anywhere in a car,” she said.

“The brain injury not only means he will never be able to return to his job as a maintenance manager, but also that he has lost his independence.”

Mr Mehan, representing Mr Richardson and his mother, said that unfortunately the exact circumstances of the incident were still unknown.

“Police investigated the incident but nobody was charged with any offence,” he said. “However if we are to secure the help and financial support Mr Richardson needs to move on from this ordeal, we need anyone who witnessed the accident to come forward and help us gain a clear picture of what happened.”

Mr Mehan said that there was a broken down red Volkswagen Transporter van parked at the side of the road at the time of the accident, and that one account of events is that the driver’s door opened, forcing traffic to move into the middle of the road.

“This was almost 5.30 in the evening, so the area was very busy, with people heading to or from the supermarket as well as making their way home from work,” he said.

“We believe there are several people out there who may have witnessed this incident who have not yet come forward. Even if people have already spoken to police, we need them to get in touch if we are to help Antony and his family.

“His life has been shattered by this horrific injury, and he and his family need anyone who has any information about the incident to please get in touch and help.”

Can you help? If you remember seeing the incident on Lyde Road - near the entrance to the Lidl supermarket – just before 5.30pm on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, or if you have information about the incident which you think might help, contact Vijay Mehan at Fentons Solicitors, part of Slater & Gordon, via vijay.mehan@fentons.co.uk or on 0207-0922829.

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