Mr Ashley’s life was changed forever by the impact but it could have been even more severe if it wasn’t for the fact that the customer who Mr Ashley was due to install a smart metre for was a trained 911 operator. He immediately took steps to protect Paul while he was lying unconscious on the roadside.
Mr Ashley said: “I remember nothing about the accident, but I am told that the customer probably helped save my life.”
Mr Ashley was rushed to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford where he spent four days in intensive care and a week in total being treated for a traumatic brain injury, a collapsed lung and a shattered collar bone – and every rib in his body was broken too.
Paul’s wife, 58-year-old Suzy, who worked nights in the care sector, rushed to his bedside but felt both devastated and helpless by the situation.
She said: “I was at a total loss but knew I had to do something. Paul had been a health and safety rep for Unite the union and so I called them straight away for advice. They put me in touch with Thompsons there and then, and when I spoke to my solicitor, Kam Singh, that morning, he was so calming and reassuring and that he put me at ease straight away. Throughout the two years and eight months of the case, Kam has always been the same – 100 per cent there for us when we needed him without anything being too much trouble.”