A woman is lucky to be alive after being left with life-changing injuries in a horrific freak car accident.
Katie Addison-Snart, 36, from Great Ponton, was travelling to work down the A1 when she was struck in the face by a large piece of metal, which crashed through her windscreen, narrowly missing her four-year-old son.
Katie, a teacher at Bourne Grammar School, struck the central reservation before coming to a stop on the hard shoulder. After briefly losing her vision, it was only when her son Hugo, who escaped unscathed beside her, started screaming ‘mummy’ that Katie came round.
Bleeding heavily from a large gash on her forehead, an ambulance rushed her to the major trauma unit at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, where she endured five hours of reconstructive surgery after it was discovered that she had a fractured skull, eye socket and cheekbone, and had to have metal plates, pins and mesh inserted into her forehead.
Katie’s husband Robert, 29, was at work at Leicester City Council when he received a phone call from the police following the incident last Tuesday.
He said: “Despite having a serious head injury and being in shock, they told me that she was awake and talking which calmed me down enough to drive to hospital. Katie’s sisters also travelled from Leicester and Mansfield to be with us.”
Katie’s parents, who were on their way to Spain at the time, got the first flight back to be with their daughter.
But despite it causing a serious injury, police are still not certain where the metal plate came from but suspect that it may have fallen off the back of a lorry.
Robert added: “A woman travelling alongside said that she saw something metal falling from a lorry travelling one car ahead of Katie. It hit the grill of the car in front before flicking up and crashing through Katie’s windscreen. The lorry didn’t stop and at this stage we’d like to think that it was because the driver was unaware about what had just happened.”
Katie and Robert, who will have been married two years on Sunday, are now taking one day at a time. Robert added: “It is still early days. Katie is still in the major trauma unit at hospital. She can’t open her right eye at the moment but doctors think that it is because she is still swollen from surgery.
“As it is a head injury, she is experiencing serious bouts of tiredness and feeling sick. She is diabetic which makes it more difficult. She has only just seen her scar which was quite emotional but she has coped really well.”
Hugo, whom Katie was taking to nursery when she was hit, visited his mum for the first time since the incident earlier this week.
Robert said: “He is coping remarkably well considering what he has witnessed. Like most children, he is very matter of fact about what happened and tells people that there was a lot of blood but that the doctors and nurses are making Mummy better in hospital.”
Robert and Hugo are being supported by a large network of friends and family who have rallied around to help. Robert added: “My mum has moved in to help with Hugo so I can be with Katie.”
Katie’s sister, Lyndsay Wignall, rushed to be by her sister’s side when she got the phone call from Robert. She said: “It has been the worst week that we’ve ever had to endure but I am trying to keep her spirits up in any way that I can. We are still concerned about her right eye but hopefully that will change as the swelling goes down.”
As Katie remains in hospital, Robert knows that they are facing a long road ahead, adding: “Katie is coping as well as she can physically but we are all still in shock so who knows how it will effect her mentally. It is a miracle that she is still here. Doctors have admitted that it was touch and go at the beginning and when I see pictures of the car and the piece of metal, I know that it could have been so much worse. It is that thought that keeps us all going.”
Lincolnshire Police are appealing for information from anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call 101, quoting incident 62 of July 11.