Epworth couple’s relief as crash driver is locked up

Alex and Catherine Johnston of Epworth.
Alex and Catherine Johnston of Epworth.

An Isle couple, seriously injured after being hit by a danger driver, have spoken for the first time of their relief after he was put behind bars.

Alex Johnston, 41, and wife Catherine, 42, of Wroot Road, Epworth, have spent 19 months waiting for justice to be served after they were knocked off their Goldwing Trike in May 2013.

Carl Andrew Gibbons of Station Road in Epworth.

Carl Andrew Gibbons of Station Road in Epworth.

Such was the extent of the injuries received, Catherine had to have her leg amputated from the knee down in April last year after doctors fought for a year to save the limb, and she will be wheelchair bound for the rest of her life.

Alex, a general manager, spoke exclusively to the Bells about the incident after Carl Andrew Gibbons, 28, of Station Road in Epworth was jailed for 27 months last month at Grimsby Crown Court for causing serious injury by dangerous driving and failing to provide a breath test.

He was also disqualified for four years and will need to take an extended re-test.

Alex said: “The incident happened on the Sandtoft to Epworth road and we were on a Goldwing Trike”.

“He was driving a white van and came onto our side of the road and ploughed straight into us, leaving us at the scene.

“He left us for dead, he’s scum.

“My wife has had to have a below knee amputation since the incident and has memory problems.

“I suffered some brain injury and have speech problems,” he added.

He explained that the couple, who previously ran Westwoodside village shop, had to spend many weeks in various hospitals receiving treatment for their injuries.

“We spent last Christmas in hospital,” Alex continued. “So this year after the court decision we just wanted to enjoy Christmas.

“I can’t thank the emergency teams enough though, they’ve done a fantastic job in keeping us here.”

He added: “It’s cost my wife her leg, she will be wheelchair dependent for the rest of her days.

“Justice has been served, but it will never bring Cath’s leg back.

“At least it gets him off the roads for two Christmases so people are safe.”

And, although the pair will now have to find somewhere new to live due to the difficulty in navigating the farm track where they live with Catherine’s wheelchair, Alex added: “This puts closure on this chapter of our lives.”