Multiple car crash survivor thanks emergency crews

Claire Flannery is pictured at her home in Wetherby after being involved in a multiple car collision. picture mike cowling feb 29 2012
Claire Flannery is pictured at her home in Wetherby after being involved in a multiple car collision. picture mike cowling feb 29 2012

A CRASH survivor who was trapped in her car after a head-on collision at an accident black spot in Wetherby has spoken of her ordeal.

Claire Flannery, of Barleyfields Terrace, Wetherby, was driving home from Leeds Metropolitan University when she was involved in a horrific four-vehicle collision at around 8.30pm on Valentine’s Day.

Claire Flannery is pictured at her home in Wetherby after being involved in a multiple car collision. picture mike cowling feb 29 2012

Claire Flannery is pictured at her home in Wetherby after being involved in a multiple car collision. picture mike cowling feb 29 2012

The car she was driving collided with a Vauxhall Combi van, with two more cars ploughing into the back of her on the A58 Leeds Road about 750 metres from Wetherby police station roundabout, towards Collingham.

Claire, 32, now says she would like to thank the emergency services who helped cut her free from her wrecked Toyota Aygo in the smash.

She also sang the praises of an off-duty nurse who stayed with her while she was cut free.

Claire, who was trapped in the car for almost two hours, suffered a severe leg injury due to the impact of the crash.

Claire was taken to Leeds General Infirmary after fire crews cut the roof off her car.

She said she was travelling at around 45 mph at the time of the accident, but cannot recall all of what happened next.

“I do not know if I blacked out for a few seconds. It is hard to remember.”

“The car spun but remained upright, I did not have time to react.

It was too late to do very much.”

A nurse, who Claire knows only by the name of Sarah and is believed to be from Boroughbridge, arrived on the scene moments later and helped.

“She was driving home from work and came and helped me, she held my head and made checks on me. She was just brilliant.”

“I would like to thank her as she stayed with me the whole time it took to get me out of the wreckage.

“I didn’t get her contact details but I know she is a nurse at the urology ward at St James’s Hospital.

“I just feel so incredibly lucky and grateful to the fantastic paramedics, police and fire service personnel that took such good care of me.”

Claire added: “Miraculously I am okay.

“When the car crashed it pushed my left leg up against the steel column and crushed it. For the first week the pain was horrendous.

“But it’s been two weeks now and really its amazing how quickly you can recover.”

Claire, whose leg is currently bandaged, needed an operation and is currently walking on crutches.

Speaking about her four-year-old daughter, Edith, Claire says: “The main thing is just how glad I am that she wasn’t in the car with me.”

Claire is now calling for street lighting along the A58 Leeds Road to prevent further accidents happening.

In December 2006, three Wetherby student friends, Oliver Cross, Michael Tempest and Thomas Dunn, all 16, died when their Ford Escort was involved in a collision on the same stretch of road.

Survior 17-year-old James Trotman, who was driving, suffered serious injuries.