‘In a split sec­ond our world changed for­ever…he’s given us a life sen­tence of pain’

Ex­clu­sive I hear Steve cry­ing him­self to sleep at night and I can’t do any­thing to help him. My heart hurts so much be­cause I still can’t get close to my hus­band as we have sep­a­rate hos­pi­tal beds due to our in­juries

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Crash Couple’s - By Paul Hooper phooper@thek­m­group.co.uk @Paul­hoop­erkm

A cou­ple say they have been given “a life sen­tence of pain” after they were knocked off their mo­tor­bike by a drink-driver and left with dev­as­tat­ing in­juries.

Am­a­teur box­ing coach Steve Hedges had to have his leg am­pu­tated and wife Joanne will never walk prop­erly again be­cause of the cat­a­strophic ef­fects of the crash in Har­ble­down.

De­tails of the men­tal and phys­i­cal an­guish they have suf­fered since, were read out in court as sec­ond-hand car dealer Jeremy Mullins was jailed for 15 months for caus­ing their in­juries by driv­ing dan­ger­ously.

The 62-year-old, who was over the drink-drive limit, was at the wheel of an unin­sured BMW es­tate when he raced out of a T-junc­tion at Faulkn­ers Lane to get in front of an on­com­ing ve­hi­cle on the A2050.

But the dan­ger­ous ma­noeu­vre ended in tragedy, as he ploughed into a Har­ley-david­son be­ing rid­den by Mr Hedges, with his wife rid­ing pil­lion.

In a vic­tim im­pact state­ment, 54-year-old Mrs Hedges wrote: “We had dreams, but in a split sec­ond our world changed for­ever due to some­one else’s ac­tions. We have been given a life sen­tence of pain.

“This horror will stay with me for­ever. I only have night­mares now, no more dreams of care-free times with my fam­ily.

“I can’t even look at photos and videos any­more. That was the old me that doesn’t ex­ist any­more.”

As the cou­ple lay in the road with bone-shat­ter­ing in­juries, which re­sulted in Mr Hedges need­ing a par­tial leg am­pu­ta­tion and his wife left with one leg shorter than the other, Mullins was plot­ting what lies to tell the po­lice to hide his drink­ing.

In the 25 min­utes the cou­ple waited for medics to ar­rive, 55-year-old Mr Hedges, who was in agony, was only think­ing of his wife.

She re­called: “We were both fully con­scious on the road. I could hear my hus­band scream­ing and beg­ging them [the medics] to help me.

“Even though Steve was min­utes away from bleed­ing to death, he was still more con­cerned about me.”

Mr Hedges was air­lifted to hos­pi­tal, with his wife un­aware if he was still alive. She had to wait three days be­fore staff moved her bed into in­ten­sive care so she could see him.

She added: “We had never been apart for so long be­fore.”

Mrs Hedges, a homelessness of­fi­cer for Grave­sham Council, told how be­fore the crash last Novem­ber the cou­ple en­joyed “a good life” and had just made their first visit to Can­ter­bury Cathe­dral.

“We both worked hard and were al­ways thank­ful for the won­der­ful life and fam­ily that we had,” she wrote. “We en­joyed ev­ery minute of ev­ery day.

“Even after 39 years to­gether we still looked for­ward to see­ing each other at the end of ev­ery day.

“We had dreams and had plans for the lat­ter part of our lives to­gether but now, due to some­one else’s ac­tions and choices, we have been given a life sen­tence of pain.

“In a split sec­ond our world, and that of our fam­ily, changed for­ever.”

The cou­ple had hoped to move to the coast and en­joy mo­tor­bike trips to Aus­tria, Switzer­land and Italy.

But Mr Hedges, who is now in con­stant pain, faces a life­time of op­er­a­tions on his leg and is ex­pected to be con­fined to a wheelchair.

“He is now vir­tu­ally house­bound as we can’t get the wheelchair out of the house with­out as­sis­tance,” his wife said.

Doc­tors man­aged to re­build Mrs Hedges’ leg after she suf­fered three frac­tures, but she has

The junc­tion of Faulkn­ers Lane with the A2050

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