Sunday, 25 Oct 2020

Devastating pictures show young couple in coma after drunk driver smashed into

These heartbreaking pictures show a young couple left in a coma after a drunk driver smashed into their car.

Olivia Boxall, 19, and Harry Maywood, 20, were travelling back to Looe in Cornwall just after midnight on September 5, 2019.

Alex Ashburne, 41 – more than two times over the drink-drive limit – collided with them as his vehicle veered in the opposite direction.

Olivia and Harry were placed in induced comas after getting to hospital.

Ashburne, 41, formerly from Cornwall but now of Burnley, Lancashire, sustained a broken hip, broken leg and abdominal injuries in the crash and has since been jailed for two years.

Olivia and Harry’s parents shared pictures of the youngsters fighting for their lives at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, Devon, to highlight the devastating impact of drunk driving.

Harry suffered severe trauma to the brain, which has left him with permanent neurological damage.

He had two collapsed lungs, a laceration to his liver, abdominal injuries, and his spleen had to be removed.

In total, he spent 80 days in hospital and had to learn to eat, talk and walk again.

Olivia suffered a fractured spine, a broken arm and severe internal bleeding which required surgery.

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She was in hospital for a month and lost three stone after not being able to eat for a fortnight.

Olivia's mum Sophie Boxall said: "We are glad the court proceedings are over, but the sentence did not feel fitting for the life-changing injuries that the two young people had sustained.

“Harry and Olivia will have a lifetime of recovery, while he will be in prison for 18 months.

“Until the law surrounding drink driving changes, people will continue to get injured and worse.

"People need to take responsibility for their actions.”

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She called on sentences to be “much tougher” to reflect the impact on the victims’ lives.

Ashburne was jailed for two years at Truro Crown Court on September 4 for two counts of causing injury by dangerous driving and to two months’ imprisonment for drink driving.

All the sentences will run concurrently. He has also been disqualified from driving for three years, after which he must sit an extended retest before being allowed to drive again.

Harry's dad Bryan, 54, of Looe, added: "Harry's injuries are with him for the rest of his life. He is at university but struggling and we have to put all our energies into helping him.

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"But more should be done to stop drink driving. I think there could be more support for publicans to be more proactive in preventing people doing it and it is important people are just aware of the consequences.

"But when people are drink driving or playing with their phone in the car they are not thinking about what sentence they might get.

"I picture Harry fighting for his life, but that is not in their head. They just think of some old bloke moaning at them. But we have got to highlight how dangerous it is and I would welcome anything that improves road safety like this."

He continued: "The sentencing brought about some closure but, for me, the length of the sentence does not increase or decrease this.

"All we now worry about is how we support Harry in life."

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