Ac­ci­dent means he can­not re­turn to job he loves

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - EXCLUSIVE - By Alis­tair Grant agrant@sun­day­post.com

A MIN­IS­TER left with dev­as­tat­ing in­juries af­ter a speeder smashed into his car has told how his faith helped him for­give the driver who al­most killed him.

The Rev­erend Colin Demp­ster, 65, was put on life sup­port fol­low­ing the ac­ci­dent last year – as doc­tors warned his fam­ily he might not sur­vive his brain in­juries.

But de­spite hav­ing to learn to walk and feed him­self again, he said: “I for­give him be­cause I’m a Chris­tian. I’ve been told by the Lord to for­give oth­ers and so I do.”

Self- em­ployed builder Wil­liam McE­wan, 35, was banned from driv­ing for 30 months and fined £ 2500 ear­lier this week af­ter he ad­mit­ted caus­ing the head-on col­li­sion.

He was try­ing to over­take on a blind bend on the wrong side of the road when he crashed his two-tonne Land Rover Dis­cov­ery into the min­is­ter’s car on the A92 be­tween Aberdeen and Mon­trose.

Rev Demp­ster, a Church of Scot­land min­is­ter at Tay­port Par­ish for two decades and more re­cently at Mearns Coastal Par­ish, said his in­juries were so trau­matic he still has no mem­ory of his stay in hos­pi­tal.

“My fam­ily were called as I wasn’t ex­pected to sur­vive the brain in­juries, and they stayed night and day for al­most two weeks,” he said.

“Thank­fully, in an­swer to prayer, I sur­vived and spent a fur­ther six weeks in hos­pi­tal hav­ing in­ten­sive re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

“My life will never be the same again as a re­sult of the ac­ci­dent and I live with the con­se­quences every day.

“Only re­cently I had surgery on my bro­ken arm which wouldn’t heal, so it now has a metal plate. I have been un­able to re­turn to work and do a job I loved to do. I had planned on work­ing un­til at least the age of 70 but that choice has now been taken from me. I am now un­able to do many of the sim­plest tasks I could do be­fore.

“My life will never be the same again as a re­sult of the ac­ci­dent and I live with the con­se­quences every day.

“I have been un­able to re­turn to work and do a job I loved to do. I am now un­able to do many of the sim­plest tasks I could do be­fore.

“Al­though dis­ap­pointed that Mr McE­wan has never said ac­tu­ally said sorry to me, I have for­given him and bear him no ill will.”

But the min­is­ter said he felt “dis­may” at the builder’s le­nient sen­tence, adding that he him­self had been off the road for 18 months now “through no fault of my own”.

And Rev Demp­ster – who once ap­peared on a BBC com­edy show called Some Vi­cars With Jokes – said he hoped his story would show “those tempted to speed how they can ruin some­one’s life even if they don’t kill them”, as well as the deadly ef­fect of pow­er­ful cars.

McE­wan, of Coyl­ton, South Ayr­shire, was ini­tially charged with driv­ing dan­ger­ously last year, but the Crown ac­cepted his guilty plea to a re­duced charge of caus­ing se­ri­ous in­jury by care­less driv­ing.

He ad­mit­ted driv­ing at ex­ces­sive speed and cross­ing into the op­pos­ing car­riage­way in the face of on­com­ing traf­fic.

McE­wan also ad­mit­ted try­ing to over­take an­other ve­hi­cle on a blind bend and crash­ing on the wrong side of the road.

He re­fused to com­ment when The Sun­day Post called at his home.

■ Rev­erend Demp­ster’s ac­ci­dent in­volved a Land Rover sim­i­lar to the one above. Be­low, his for­mer church Mearns Coastal Par­ish.

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