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So lucky to be alive after Five Oak Green crash, says grateful chippy

By Paddock Wood Courier  |  Posted: November 23, 2012

By Andy Saunders andy.saunders@courier.co.uk

  • thanks: Tonbridge firefighters Derek Patey, Kevin Phillips, Steve Francis and Neil Capeling with grateful Lewis Bryan

  • wrecked: Lewis Bryan's car after the smash

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A SURVIVOR of a major road crash in Five Oak Green has admitted he is lucky to be alive, after seeing images of his mangled car.

Lewis Bryan has no memory of an accident which left his Peugeot 106 unrecognisable and had rescue crews fearing the worst.

The 24-year-old carpenter, who escaped with just whiplash, broken toes and bruising, was reunited on Monday with some of the firefighters who saved his life, at an event to promote safety.

He said: "My last memory was of working at lunchtime at a house in Tunbridge Wells. After this I can't even remember getting in my car.

"I am so grateful to all the emergency services. They worked so quickly and professionally. I cannot thank them enough."

The Larkfield resident was flown to King's College Hospital, in London, after being cut from his car following a crash involving five vehicles at Whetsted Road, on October 4. The accident happened close to the junction with the A228 Maidstone Road, shortly before 5pm.

The next thing Mr Bryan can recall was waking up in hospital and seeing his family at his bedside.

"I couldn't work out what had happened or why I was there", he said. "It was very confusing and scary."

Tonbridge fire station watch manager Derek Patey said: "When we arrived we feared the worst. The car was a complete mess, so much so it was almost unrecognisable. It was a race against time to save Lewis's life."

Mr Bryan plans to return to work within the next few weeks. He said it was hard to feel emotion about something he could not remember, but added the crash had made him exercise more caution.

"I've since seen photos of the crash and spoken to the firefighters who cut me free and now know how lucky I am to be alive."

With about six people killed on Kent roads every month, Kent Police Inspector Martin Stevens this week urged drivers to think more about safety.

He said: "We attend many serious collisions and see the effects this has on those involved, including loved ones left behind."

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