A crane driver who was lucky to escape with his life when his cab fell 40 metres onto the roof of a hotel has spoken about the accident for the first time after his employers were sentenced at the Old Bailey today (Wednesday, September 23, 2009).

John Young, 39, from New Haven in East Sussex, was left with serious multiple injuries after the horrific accident in June 2007.

He was working for Select Plant Hire Company building a 25 storey block of flats in Croydon when the accident happened.

As the crane was being jacked up it collapsed and the cab John was sitting in fell 40 metres onto the roof of the nearby Park Hotel.

He was trapped on the hotel roof for two hours as fire fighters fought to reach him.

Multiple fractures caused by accident at work

John’s right shoulder blade was broken in half. He also broke the same shoulder in five places as well as fracturing four vertebrae in his spine and breaking three ribs.

He had a fractured skull, both lungs were bruised and he was covered in bruising and cuts.

Following the accident John needed an operation to re-break his shoulder blade. He will also need another three operations on his shoulder.

The dad of two is now able to walk but only short distances. He can only leave his home with assistance and can no longer work.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted Select Plant Hire Company and the company was found guilty on June 19, 2009 of failing to ensure the equipment was thoroughly examined after installation, failing to make sure John’s supervisor had received adequate training and failing to ensure its employees were not exposed to risks.

Select Plant Hire Company was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs at the Old Bailey.

Accident cost crane driver his independence, mobility and right to work

John who is represented by personal injury specialists Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Today’s decision comes as a great relief and I can only hope that as a result steps will be taken to make sure that this never happens again.

“Without the support I have received from my family I do not know how I could have got through the past two years. I would like to thank Amanda Huff at the HSE for keeping me up to date with the case and fighting on my behalf.”

Peter Norton Small from Thompsons Solicitors added: “We welcome today’s decision, but it will never make up for the horrific injuries inflicted on our client.

“His employer’s failure to provide basic health and safety checks almost cost him his life. It did cost him his independence, mobility and his right to work.

“We are pursuing a claim for compensation on John’s behalf which we hope will lessen the financial burden and assist in making alterations to his home needed as a result of his injuries.”