Road crash couple ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’

The scene of the crash Photo: Eddie Mitchell
The scene of the crash Photo: Eddie Mitchell

One of the victims of a driver who caused a three-car crash told this week how he and his wife had their lives ‘completely turned upside down’ by the smash.

Joe Akerman and his wife Jane, from Horsham, were among five people hurt during the pile-up. It happened when an Audi car crashed into a Fiesta, forcing it across the central reservation into the Akermans’ Fiat 500 travelling in the opposite direction.

“We were innocent victims in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Joe, 60, who now wants to raise awareness of the effects of dangerous driving on other road users.

The crash happened on the A264 Dorking Road on August 12 last year, 800 metres away from the Great Daux roundabout and the A24 junction.

Five people were hurt and one woman was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries. Joe’s wife Jane, 55, suffered serious abdominal injuries and a fractured foot and is still undergoing treatment seven months after the horrific incident in which the A264 was closed for eight hours.

Last week, Darren Worger, 34, of Saxon Crescent, Horsham, was jailed for two years when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, the courts service said. He was also banned from driving for five years, the court said.

Mr Akerman this week declined to comment on the sentence but said that this was ‘another example where people’s lives had been turned upside down by the actions of a dangerous driver’.

He said he hoped the sentence would act as a deterrent to other drivers who might be prepared to break the law when behind the wheel of a car.

“Everyone thinks it won’t happen to them, either as a driver or victim, but our experience occurred from the most innocent of situations from our viewpoint. We were on the other side of the road and a car just smashed into us with no warning. It happened to us and it could happen to any road user.”

He added “Jane and I would also like to thank the emergency services and all the kind motorists who stopped to help on that evening - the help we received is greatly appreciated.”