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Plea on Crimewatch after van driver leaves a Bromley grandmother paralysed
THE daughter of a woman left paralysed from the neck down after being hit by a van in Bromley town centre has made an emotional plea for help in finding the driver.
Tara Bright, whose mother Carol is still in hospital more than a year after the incident in Churchill Way, has spoken of her heartbreak at discovering her mother would never cuddle her grandchildren again.
She made the appeal on last night's Crimewatch programme on the BBC in the hope that someone who knows the whereabouts of the man who may be at fault will come forward.
Alexander Abimbola is wanted in connection with an investigation into an allegation of dangerous driving and insurance offences after he failed to answer police bail.
Last September Mrs Bright, 58, was waiting for her husband, Peter, to pick her up after finishing work at British Home Stores in High Street when a van hit her in the back and reversed over her.
The van only stopped when a witness shouted at the driver to stop.
The witness called an ambulance for Mrs Bright, who said she could not feel her arms or legs, and she was taken to the Intensive Care Unit at King’s College Hospital in London, where she underwent surgery to repair a disc in her neck that had been shattered by the impact.
Mrs Bright, who has two children and four grandchildren, is now wheelchair bound and is still being treated at a specialist spinal unit at Stanmore Hospital.
Tara, 35, said: “I still cannot believe that this has happened to my mum, who is so careful, who would never drive at any speed, always crossed the road with care, whose famous saying was ‘take care of yourself and phone me when you get there’.
“It’s been incredibly painful to watch her come to terms with the fact that she will never cuddle her grandchildren again, or to wipe away her tears on the day that would have been my wedding day.
“We’re all devastated. My six year old daughter went to bed one evening hugging a photo, sobbing, ‘I don’t want nanny to be in a wheelchair’, and my dad, who was at the scene, has flashbacks.
“We will never give up on our mum and her recovery - or lose hope - because if we do that, then none of us will be able to carry on living.
“We know the driver won’t get a life sentence, but we as a family have.”
Mr Abimbola is described as black in his late 20’s or early 30’s. Anyone who knows of his whereabouts is urged to contacts Crimewatch anonymously on 0800 55511.