British mum nearly dies in horror Crete quad bike crash that fractures her spine

Mandy Symonds, 56, has spoken about her ‘nightmare’ experience which left her suffering injuries including spinal fractures, fractured ribs as well as a broken collar bone and wrist and a collapsed lung

A mum suffered serious injuries in a horrific quad bike crash while she was on holiday in Crete.

Mandy Symonds, from Bradford in west Yorkshire, was riding pillion when she was thrown from the quad bike she had hired with her husband Chris, 57.

Husband Chris feared she had been killed as she wasn’t moving, her helmet had come off and she was left ‘wrapped around a signpost’ at the roadside.

Mandy said Chris, a former firefighter, had been driving at a low speed when the quad hit a high kerb due to a suspected steering fault, Examiner Live reports.

She suffered injuries including spinal fractures, fractured ribs as well as a broken collar bone and wrist and a collapsed lung.

Now the 56-year-old has spoken about her ‘nightmare experience’ and warned others about the importance of being insured on holiday.

Mandy was fortunate to be covered by insurance when she hired the quad and is now urging other holidaymakers to ensure they are covered if they hire any kind of vehicle abroad.

Recalling the aftermath of the crash, Mandy said: “He thought I was dead. My eyes were staring into space. I went over the top of Chris and was wrapped around a signpost. Chris flew off and the bike landed on him. He found out later that he had a broken wrist.”

The mum-of-two has now received a compensation payout for the injuries and financial losses she sustained as a result of the crash in July 2017.

She recently received the compensation thanks to work by law firm Irwin Mitchell.

Mandy suffered her injuries just as her holiday to Crete was coming to an end.

The couple were keen to explore the island and decided to hire a quad bike to visit some nearby beaches.

Mandy recalled: “Chris had a test drive, although neither of us was asked about our level of experience.

“We wore helmets and around 15 minutes into the ride, I was thrown to the roadside and was later told I was wrapped around a post.”

Mandy, who has run her own wax melt business, Melting Moments, since she retired from a nursing career, was taken to a local hospital and diagnosed with injuries including fractured ribs, a punctured lung and a broken collarbone.

She spent 10 days in the hospital before being deemed fit to fly home by doctors.

However, her condition deteriorated on the flight.

When she landed at Leeds Bradford Airport she was blue-lighted to Leeds General Infirmary where doctors admitted her to intensive care.

They found blood in the area around her collapsed lung, which was affecting her breathing, and fractures to her vertebrae.

Mandy added: “The injuries have taken a massive physical and psychological toll on me.

“I needed various surgeries including on my collarbone and I have also had issues with my wrist and back.

“Having to deal with the pain and discomfort constantly has meant that I am generally more tired as well and for a long time I was unable to carry out simple day-to-day tasks such as cleaning and shopping.

“The incident also massively disrupted my wax melt business and I had to shut down for several months as I attempted to recover.

“It has just been a nightmare experience, but I feel fortunate that we had the right insurance in place with the quad bike company.

“This settlement will help me move forward with my recovery, so that does offer a crumb of comfort.

“I really would urge anyone thinking of hiring a quad bike to always consider insurance, while they should also use a trustworthy and reputable provider too.”

Irwin Mitchell lawyer Allison Slingo, who worked closely with Mandy to secure her settlement, said: “Mandy’s case highlights the dangers that can arise when hiring vehicles like quad bikes, as well as the importance of having insurance in place. Thanks to the latter, we were able to ensure that Mandy could get the support she requires.

“Holidaymakers should not underestimate the importance of such issues and we would urge people to take notice of a case like this.”

Cheryl Palmer-Hughes, legal expert in Irwin Mitchell’s International Serious Injury team who led the team representing Mandy, said: “Holidays are an opportunity to relax and unwind from the stresses of everyday life

“However, it is hugely important that we still take steps to stay protected in any given situation, including scenarios where we might be trying something for the first time.”