Driver had epileptic seizure at 70mph on A24

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A driver who had an epileptic seizure behind the wheel driving at 70mph says he cannot express his gratitude enough to the emergency services who saved his life.

John Barber-Bacon, of Swallowtail Road, Horsham, was unconscious for four days after his vehicle swerved from the fast lane on the A24 between Southwater and Broadbridge Heath, across the inside lane and up onto the embankment where it smashed into two trees.

The 32 year old suffered an onslaught of injuries in the crash including a broken collar-bone, punctured lung, cracked ribs, fractured vertebrae and multiple lacerations.

“If there had been no one else on that road then I hate to think what would have happened - I could have died,” John told the County Times.

“Someone must have called the emergency services and whoever it was pretty much saved my life, because I was in such a state they had to fly me to Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton.”

John said he would like to personally say thank you to that person if they came forward.

It was the afternoon of Saturday January 26, when his seizure occurred and John’s wife Stephanie had been expecting her husband back from a shift at MacDonalds at Buck Barn crossroads.

The 25 year old Tesco worker and trainee beauty therapist recollected how she first heard of the accident.

“A police officer knocked at my door at 6 o’clock and you see them walk down your path and it is honestly the scariest thing I have ever had to go through.”

Stephanie spent the next four days visiting John in Brighton hoping he would regain consciousness.

“She’s supported me through everything,” said John. “I just wouldn’t have coped without her. I am very lucky.”

John’s driving licence has been suspended following the incident. H e was permitted to drive because although he was first diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 12, he had only suffered a couple of seizures in his teens and a further couple in his mid-twenties.

John is now banned from driving for a year, after which he will be re-evaluated by the DVLA. However, he remains uncertain about whether he would like to drive again.

“It has brought home how dangerous it can be,” he said. “ Thank God I was only doing 70mph.

“People often drive a lot faster on that stretch of road, and if I was going much faster, I would probably be dead.”