Driver faces £250,000 compensation claim after 84-year-old seriously injured

The forecourt of the Olive Tree restaurant, in Ellingham, where Audrey Skennerton suffered serious injuries in an early morning crash.

The forecourt of the Olive Tree restaurant, in Ellingham, where Audrey Skennerton suffered serious injuries in an early morning crash. - Credit: Google Maps

A driver is being sued for more than £250,000 in the High Court after a crash which seriously injured an 84-year-old.

Audrey Skennerton suffered a fractured skull and brain haemorrhage and has been left with a "basic" level of communication and understanding following the crash, a writ seeking compensation has claimed.

Mrs Skennerton had been walking by the Olive Tree restaurant on Old Yarmouth Road, Ellingham, near Bungay, with her dog at 7.20am on February 11, 2016, when driver James McDonald allegedly crashed into her.

The writ, issued on behalf of Mrs Skennerton by her son Steven Skennerton, claims Mr McDonald drove his Volkswagen Passat at speed onto the pub's forecourt to carry out a U-turn when he hit Mrs Skennerton and ran her over.

It says he stopped after feeling his car shudder and saw a boot under his car as he opened the door.


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It alleges that before driving, Mr McDonald, of Old Yarmouth Road, Ellingham, had failed to clear ice from his windscreen which obstructed his vision through the front and side windows.

It accuses Mr McDonald of negligent driving, driving too fast, failing to avoid a collision, failing to ensure his car was safe to drive by removing ice, driving when he knew his vision was impaired, failing to see Mrs Skennerton, or to warn her of his presence and carrying out a dangerous and unnecessary U-turn.

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The writ says that insurers have now admitted full liability for the accident, which left Mrs Skennerton with a fractured skull and brain haemorrhage.

It says that her level of communication and understanding is now basic, and her memory, attention, and communication have been grossly impaired.

Mrs Skennerton needs a wheelchair and is looked after by carers in Manningtree on a one-to-one basis.

Her life expectancy is said to have been reduced by five years as a result of her injuries, and she is also believed to be at risk of developing epilepsy or Parkinson's Disease.

The writ seeks provisional damages and permission to return to court to ask for more damages if Mrs Skennerton's condition deteriorates. 

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