Payout for Somerset firefighter crushed by car in Devon

A retained firefighter who was seriously injured when a runaway car flattened the tent he and his wife were camping in has been given compensation.

Leigh Redman, 44, from Bridgwater, in Somerset, needed surgery to his spine and had to retire from the fire service on health grounds.

His wife Tracey was also injured in the incident at a holiday park in Budleigh Salterton, Devon, in August 2008.

The car owner's insurer settled the case out of court.

Mr Redman suffered multiple injuries, including fractures to his ribs, collar bone and back.

'Waking nightmare'

As well as surgery, he underwent extensive physiotherapy and counselling, and still takes pain killers daily.

The retained firefighter of 20 years took ill health retirement from the fire service after it became clear he would never be physically fit enough to return to full duty.

He has been able to continue working in his regular job as a contract manager.

Mrs Redman suffered severe bruising and psychological injuries in the incident.

"The accident was like a waking nightmare and we are just fortunate that we both didn't suffer more serious injures and that our daughter wasn't in the tent with us," Mr Redman said.

"It has taken me a long time to come to terms with my injuries. I realise now that I'm never going to be 100% and it is disappointing that I had to give up my duties with the fire service."

Paul Woolstenholmes, national legal officer for the Fire Brigades' Union, said: "This was a horrific accident which could have easily been a double fatality.

"The impact of Mr Redman's injuries has meant the fire service has lost a loyal and hard-working firefighter.

"We are pleased our legal services have been able to help him in his claim for compensation."

James Davies, from Thompsons Solicitors, said: "Leigh and his wife were fortunate to escape with their lives.

"The owner of the Mini had a responsibility to make sure that it was parked securely and his failure to do so has had a significant impact on Leigh's life."

The amount of compensation was undisclosed.

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