Motor racing crowd crash drama at Oliver's Mount in Scarborough to feature on Helicopter ER show
The life-changing stories of two men who were injured when a motorbike crashed into the crowd at a racing event in Yorkshire will be told on a reality television show.
Paul Franklin, 41, from Knutsford in Cheshire, and Adam Webster, 35, of Matlock in Derbyshire, were racing spectators at the Oliver’s Mount circuit in Scarborough in September 2017.
Two similar crashes happened during the day, with 12 people suffering injuries while four air ambulances and six road ambulances were called out along with three clinical supervisors.
Racing at the track was halted for more than a year as the previous operators pulled out.
The racing at Oliver's Mount is now run by TwoFourThree Road Racing Association which has invested more than £100,000 in safety improvements and renovations for the public, riders and marshalling at the circuit. It was not connected to the 2017 races.
It brought motorbike racing back to the track in July, and another meeting, the Steve Henshaw Gold Cup, takes place on September 28-29.
The stories of the two injured men will feature on Monday's episode of the TV show Helicopter ER, which follows the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) paramedics and their patients.
Mr Franklin - who YAA said was hit by the bike at 60mph - was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, where it was revealed that he had fractured his fibula and damaged his liver, kidney and spleen.
He also had a deep wound to his the abdomen, a cut to the back of the head and had a collapsed lung and 11 broken ribs.
“When I came round, I couldn’t breathe and I thought, this is it. I started thinking about my wife and daughter and it was them who gave me the determination to live," said Mr Franklin.
In his younger years, he was a marathon runner and medics told him his love of fitness probably saved his life.
He said: “Doctors said to me that if I was a little bit younger or older, and if I wasn’t in such good health, I wouldn’t be here today."
On September 1 2018, just under a year after his accident and while still receiving physiotherapy for a number of his injuries, Mr Franklin walked the Yorkshire Dales' Three Peaks to raise funds for the crew who gave him the vital initial treatment that saved his life, raising more than £16,400 for the charity.
Speaking about Yorkshire Air Ambulance, he said: “I find it staggering that such a vital service, that covers all of Yorkshire including the Dales, requires public support to maintain its operations. Without them there is a good chance I wouldn’t be here; without them hundreds of others would also be at great risk. They are an amazing service and I’ll be forever in their debt.”
Mr Webster - who is married to wife Grace, with whom he has two daughters - suffered a traumatic brain injury, fracture of the right shin bones, a deep cut to his left calf, and numerous cuts and bruises.
The former mechanic instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate what had happened to him, and to help him gain access to the rehabilitation services required to progress his recovery.
He was attending an event at the race circuit with his father, Tony, but lost consciousness after the accident and was taken by ambulance to Scarborough General Hospital.
Mr Webster's fractures were treated with the insertion of a nail down the centre of his shin and screws in his right lower leg.
Following his discharge from the hospital in late September, he was initially unable to return to work.
He was prescribed morphine for his pain and relied heavily on his wife to help him get washed and dressed.
After a couple of months, he slowly began to regain his independence as his pain became more manageable, said his legal firm Irwin Mitchell.
In the first few months his fractures showed a very slow level of recovery and as advised by his orthopaedic team, he had an operation to remove some screws in his right ankle in February 2018 to encourage further bone healing.
He was also referred to the Derbyshire Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust and was seen by an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist and a counsellor.
His legal team instructed additional highly skilled rehabilitation therapists to ensure that he is able to make the best possible recovery.
Mr Webster is currently undergoing neuro-psychology and notices that his mood has improved significantly. But he continues to struggle with his short-term memory and concentration.
He said: “My life has totally changed since the accident two years ago. It has been deeply upsetting to live with the injuries I have, but I am trying to be positive and get myself better.
“Following the accident, I noticed a big change in my general fitness levels, flexibility and movement. But my mobility has certainly increased over time, particularly with the help of my physiotherapy sessions.
“I have experienced a rollercoaster of emotions since the crash happened, and I also spend a lot of time feeling anxious and on edge, but I am so thankful for the care and support I have had from Grace and my family.
"I wouldn’t have got through this without them, and I am happy to be able to share my story to show that anything can be achieved when you set your mind to it.
“I cannot thank the emergency services and all those who came to my aid enough for what they did.”
Helicopter ER will be shown on the channel Really from 9pm to 10pm.