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Thomas Carey: Man hit by stolen car in Rochester speaks out after driver Gentjan Lalaj sentenced

By Lydia Chantler-Hicks

A man who suffered serious injuries when he was hit by a stolen car has told of the devastating effect the incident has had on his life.

Tom Carey, from Rochester, was struck from behind by the Volvo S60 while working in Bevois Hill, Southampton, on March 27. Police were pursuing the car.

He was left with a range of injuries including severe knee problems, a dislocated shoulder and a broken nose.

Warning: Graphic image below

Tom Carey suffered serious injuries after being hit by a stolen car
Tom Carey suffered serious injuries after being hit by a stolen car

Tom's work as a utility surveyor takes him all over the country, and he had been surveying a road in Southampton when the collision happened.

He said: “I crossed the road after checking there was no traffic and just as I was reaching the pavement I heard tyres screeching.

"I was then hit by a car from behind and thrown into a nearby garden.

“I was in absolute agony and couldn’t believe the extent of my injuries when I got to hospital.

"My right kneecap was broken, while there was significant damage to the ligaments. It was awful and for the first few days I was bed-bound and needed help with everything including going to the toilet – it was embarrassing.”

He was taken to Southampton General Hospital.

Tom Carey suffered a range of injuries including severe knee problems, a dislocated shoulder and a broken nose
Tom Carey suffered a range of injuries including severe knee problems, a dislocated shoulder and a broken nose

Although he was discharged after 12 days, the injuries he suffered have had a lasting impact on his life.

Not only has he been unable to return to work, but he is facing the prospect of a second operation to treat extensive damage to his right knee.

Tom's injuries have prevented him from reverting to his previously active lifestyle, and hobbies such as ice hockey.

He said: “I have become a bit more independent but still struggle to leave the house without help.

"There’s also been a psychological impact too, as I am now anxious around traffic and have had panic attacks about it.

"There have even been nightmares and I’m still yet to get back to work.

Thomas Carey. Picture: Andrew Hewitt
Thomas Carey. Picture: Andrew Hewitt

“The incident has also affected my family life too, as I missed my grandfather’s funeral while I was in hospital and my brother has also had to postpone his stag do due to my injuries.

"My mum has also not been able to return to work because I’ve needed her help as well.

In November, the driver involved in the incident was convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and has been jailed for three years and handed a six-and-a-half year driving ban.

Now, Tom is speaking out about the effect his injuries have had on his life and is urging all road users to make safety a top priority.

“It has been very difficult but news of the sentencing is very welcome," he said.

"I am now trying to look more positively to the future and am focused on making the best recovery possible.”

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