Mirac­u­lous sur­vival of biker whose life was changed in an in­stant

Solihull News - - NEWS - MEHREEN KHAN News Re­porter

A SOLI­HULL busi­ness­man left se­verely brain dam­aged in a hor­rific crash in Ger­many is back­ing a cam­paign to re­duce bike deaths.

Shane Booth, from Shirley, was left fight­ing for his life af­ter a trac­tor pulled into the path of his mo­tor­bike in Au­gust 2009.

Shane, who was a direc­tor at IBM, suf­fered se­vere brain trauma, sev­eral frac­tures and se­ri­ous in­ter­nal in­juries af­ter the crash near the town of Baden- Baden. He was in a coma for sev­eral weeks.

Fol­low­ing the ac­ci­dent Shane se­cured a £ 6 mil­lion pay­out to help fund care for the rest of his life.

The 44- year- old had to learn to walk again, and had to be hoisted out of bed into a wheel­chair. He had to give up his ca­reer at IBM and had to rely on oth­ers to care for him.

“In a way I’m lucky that I don’t re­mem­ber much about the crash,” says Shane. “But in a split sec­ond, it changed my life.

“A po­lice of­fi­cer who at­tended the scene said that my ac­ci­dent was the worst he’d seen, where some­one had re­ceived so many lifethreat­en­ing in­juries and ac­tu­ally sur­vived.

“Com­ing to terms with how my life had changed was dif­fi­cult. I’d gone from be­ing re­ally ac­tive, en­joy­ing my job, sport and trav­el­ling, to be­ing al­most bed- bound and hav­ing to be hoisted out of bed.

“I was to­tally wheelchair­re­liant when I went out.

“But then I thought ‘ I’m not putting my life on hold’. I was de­ter­mined to try and over­come my in­juries.”

Shane was on hol­i­day in Ger­many with friends when his bike was hit by a trac­tor while trav­el­ling along the Sch­warzwald­hochstrasse.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions showed the trac­tor driver had been at­tempt­ing to turn left across the path of the bike at the time of the smash. The driver was later con­victed of caus­ing bod­ily harm by neg­li­gence.

Shane, pre­vi­ously a keen sports­man, had to have in­ten­sive re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion to im­prove his speech and learn how to walk again.

“The sup­port I have had from my wife Yvette, as well as med­i­cal and le­gal pro­fes­sion­als, has been ab­so­lutely amaz­ing,” he says. “I owe so much to them. I feel for­tu­nate to be where I am to­day.

“But this should never have hap­pened to me and I am only where I am be­cause of tremen­dous grit and de­ter­mi­na­tion to suc­ceed, which has al­ways been part of my per­son­al­ity.

“It is vi­tally im­por­tant that driv­ers pay at­ten­tion on the roads and help re­duce the num­ber of mo­tor­cy­clists in­jured or killed.”

Now a mo­ti­va­tional speaker, Shane is urg­ing driv­ers to think ‘ Bike Smart’ when they are be­hind the wheel as part of Road Safety Week.

The De­part­ment of Trans­port recorded 18,477 cy­clist ca­su­al­ties and 19,297 mo­tor­cy­clist ca­su­al­ties in 2016.

Les­ley Ed­wards, the lawyer at Ir­win Mitchell who se­cured Shane his set­tle­ment, said: “Shane suf­fered truly dev­as­tat­ing in­juries in the col­li­sion. To have sur­vived the ini­tial crash and make the re­cov­ery he has is truly re­mark­able.

“I am im­mensely proud that he has man­aged to make the re­cov­ery he has and priv­i­leged to have been in­structed to act for him in pur­su­ing his case.

“Shane came to the of­fice re­cently to give a mo­ti­va­tional talk and he is truly in­spir­ing and im­pres­sive as a speaker. I wish him ev­ery suc­cess with his busi­ness ‘ The Man That Speaks’ and hope that the firm can sup­port his ven­tures in the fu­ture.”

Shane Booth to­day and, in­set, in hos­pi­tal fight­ing for his life

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