CRASH SURVIVOR BACKS CAMPAIGN
Today we draw our Buckle Up! campaign to a close after five weeks of remarkable support from readers, emergency service workers, car crash survivors and community leaders. In our final week of the campaign LAURA
MOWAT tells the remarkable story of horror crash survivor Rory Scarlett and chats to Jack Biel, whose son, Patrik died in a car crash in Amersham in May, inspiring this awareness campaign
AMAN who spent two months in a coma and had to learn to again after a serious crash has called for people to buckle up when they get in the car. Rory Scarlett, a former Dr Challoner’s Grammar School pupil, said that he would ‘definitely’ support our #Buckleup campaign, urging everyone to put on their seatbelt.
Mr Scarlett, 21, suffered brain and leg injuries in a car crash in February 2012 when the car he was in struck a tree in Longbottom Lane, Seer Green.
The crash killed another passenger, fellow Dr Challoner’s Grammar School pupil Hussein Shamshudin, 17, from Chesham.
Mr Scarlett said: “I am definitely more careful without a doubt after the crash.
“I always wear my seatbelt and if I am in a car and the driver is messing around, I will tell them that I don’t feel comfortable. There are benefits of wearing a seatbelt and they are much more important than it not being seen as cool. It is stupid not to wear one.
“I do think that most people do wear a seatbelt, sometimes when people have been drinking, they don’t care about wearing one. But there can be other ramifications – there can be legal consequences for not wearing one. People should just make sure that they wear one.”
Mr Scarlett took a year to recover from the crash and he returned to school in January 2013, completing his A-levels in the summer of this year.
Mr Scarlett said: “It is so much more than just yourself who is affected when there is a crash, it is the families too.
“There is so much more pain than physical pain, there is emotional pain. There is a lot of stress for families – my mum had to come to hospital every day.
“Without a doubt, my life would be very different if it wasn’t for my crash. I would be at university instead of studying for a BTEC, it would be a whole different thing.”
The 21-year-old does not know if he will ever be able to walk properly again.
Mr Scarlett’s message to urge people to wear seatbelts is: “Just do it, the effort required is minimal and the benefit that it could have to your life is monumental.”