“Miracle I’m alive” from holiday crash

Bryony Fitzpatrick EMN-140619-171913001
Bryony Fitzpatrick EMN-140619-171913001

Brigg holidaymaker Bryony Hegarty is lucky to be alive after been thrown 260ft down a cliff in a crash.

The 21-year-old was on a jeep safari in Turkey, when the horrific accident happened.

What was meant to be a dream holiday with boyfriend-of-two-years Jamie Ingledew and his family turned into a nightmare.

The ordeal has left her bruised and battered, needing weeks off work, but it seems there is no way the store worker can gain any compensation.

“We were driving through the mountains and the driver lost control as he was texting. The jeep veered off the road and started rolling down the cliff. I flew out of the top of the Jeep as the seatbelt ripped out of the seats, flying down around 260ft, 200 further than anybody else,” Bryony recalled.

“There was a slide and a sudden drop, which I fell down, hitting boulders and trees along the way down. Wearing northing other than shorts and a vest, I had boulders and rocks thundering down on me. Whilst I was laying at the bottom, I had to find the will to move myself away, otherwise that would have killed me,” she told the Rasen Mail.

Trees helped break her fall, but others on the trip thought she was dead. Bryony lay in agony, fearing she had broken her back, but she managed to cry for help, which only arrived after two hours.

“I was in intensive care for four days due to internal bleeding, multiple trauma, a right ankle lesion and haematoma. I was basically cut to shreds everywhere with excessive swelling and purple /black skin, severe pain at the neck, waist, hip and chest.”

Boyfriend Jamie was thrown out but escaped injury and helped his dad, Darren, 42, who suffered a broken rib, from the wreck of the jeep.

Jamie’s mum, Marianne, 39, broke her shoulder, his two brothers- Tyler 14 and Joshua, aged eight, needed stitches.

Still bruised and battered from her near-death experience on April 10, Bryony has been recovering at her home in Brigg, where she lives with her mum, Sian, 54.

“I have permanent scars, which are an still swollen in size, still numb and painful. I have received various treatments in hospital, blood tests, X-rays, painkillers.”

Since the week-long trip to Izmir, Bryony has fought for compensation for injuries and a ruined holiday, claiming gross negligence from the driver. Their holiday insurance only covered hospital bills, the hotel and flights.

Bryony says the eight-seater Land Rover used on the £20 day trip looked old, had awful suspension, was unstable and seemed unsafe. Furthermore, 20 minutes into the safari, the driver started texting on his phone, before losing control while doing 15mph.

However, there has been no legal success to date. Bryony has contacted several solicitors who reply they cannot take her claim as Turkey is a very difficult place to claim from. She also had no response from the hotel in Turkey, the 5-star Surmeli Efes, the company running the safari tours, Regal Tours, or the Turkish authorities. Even though using a phone while driving is illegal, authorities investigating the crash have said no more legal action would be taken.

The legal drama has left Bryony with mixed feelings, though she says she will never go to Turkey again.

“I feel lucky and unlucky as if my accident was anywhere other than Turkey, I could have had a claim. But I’m glad to be alive as all the doctors said it was a miracle I’m alive.”