A woman is recovering at home less than two weeks after sustaining life changing injuries in a freak car accident.
Katie Addison-Snart, 36, from Great Ponton, was travelling to work down the A1 when she was struck in the face by a large piece of metal, which crashed through her windscreen, narrowly missing her four-year-old son.
Katie, a teacher at Bourne Grammar School, struck the central reservation before coming to a stop on the hard shoulder. After briefly losing her vision, it was only when her son Hugo, who escaped unscathed beside her, started screaming ‘mummy’ that Katie came round.
Speaking for the first time since the incident, Katie said: “I don’t remember much of the morning. I was on my way to drop Hugo off at nursery before going on to school. I was looking forward to sports day that afternoon. It was about 7.30am and I was chatting to Hugo who was sat next to me. I can’t actually remember the exact moment that the metal crashed through the windscreen or being hit in the head. I only remember the ding ding sound as my car bumped along the central reservation. When I realised that I couldn’t see, I just remember thinking that I needed to get Hugo out of the traffic and somehow managed to pull up on a grass verge on the hard shoulder.”
Once she had stopped, Katie remembers her son’s desperate cries.
“He kept asking me if I was going to die. He could see all the blood whereas I could not.”
When a woman who had been driving in front of Katie’s white car rushed over to help, Hugo jumped into action.
Katie added: “It was Hugo that told the lady that she needed to call for an ambulance. He was a little trooper.”
After being rushed to the major trauma unit at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, Katie endured five hours of reconstructive surgery after it was discovered that she had a fractured skull, eye socket and cheekbone, and had to have metal plates, pins and mesh inserted into her forehead.
“The next few days in hospital went by in a haze,” said Katie. “I was very tired and kept drifting in and out of sleep. I remember always being surrounded by lots of family though. My husband Robert barely left my side and my parents, sisters and Rob’s family all took turns to be with me. I was never alone.”
Incredibly, just over a week after the incident, Katie returned to her home in Great Ponton.
She added: “I had the choice to either stay in hospital or go home, but I wanted to try and get back to some sort of normality. It seemed surreal in hospital and I was desperate to get home to Hugo, who I had only seen twice in hospital. My family are taking it in turns to stay with us, especially as Rob is due to go back to work next week.”
Katie now faces an uncertain future as she prepares for months of rehab and hospital appointments.
She added: “It is a waiting game now. I still can’t open my right eye. As the metal went straight through to my skull, they think that it has severed some nerves, but it itches, which is apparently a good sign. I’ve got bits missing from my skull and I’ve also got a fractured left eye too but they don’t want to risk having a closer look just yet until they know the extent of the damage on my right eye. I am also extremely tired but the surgeon was quick to reassure me that it is normal for people who have suffered a head injury to want to sleep for up to 20 hours a day in some cases.”
Until her rehab appointment next month, Katie is just taking every day as it comes.
She added: “It all seems surreal. I am very independent so it is frustrating not being able to do everything I want to. I am not allowed to drive for at least six months as I’ve got an increased risk of epilespy. I go between feeling upset and sorry for myself to feeling extremely grateful that the metal wasn’t a few feet to the left and hit Hugo, as that doesn’t bear thinking about. The support has been overwhelming. I’ve had messages from friends, family, ex and present students, school parents and even strangers. It has been very touching.”
Hugo has also been doing his best to keep his mum’s spirits up.
Katie added: “We had been due to travel to France on holiday a few days after the crash. Instead of being upset, Hugo said, ‘Mummy we can just go on holiday when your head grows back,’ which I couldn’t help but laugh at.”
Katie who was on her way to her job as the head of English at Bourne Grammar school, when she was struck, added: “I love my job. The staff and headteacher have all been very supportive. I am very proud of all of my students, so I am still hoping to make it to their exam results day next month - although I’m not sure I’ll make the 6am start though!”
Lincolnshire Police believe that something metal falling off a lorry may have caused the injury.
Katie’s husband Robert added: “A woman travelling in front of Katie said that she saw something metal falling from a lorry. It bounced off her car, hit another car before flicking up and crashing through Katie’s windscreen.
“The lorry didn’t stop and we’d like to think that it was because the driver was unaware about what had just happened.”
Katie was told officers are currently working on two potential leads and that CCTV footage has enabled them to narrow the lorry down as belonging to one of three potential companies, although this has not been confirmed by the police.
n Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is still asked to call 101, quoting incident 62 of July 11.