Belfast Telegraph

Darius 'millimetres from death'

Popstar To Opera Star winner Darius Campbell has revealed he was just three millimetres from death after a horror crash in which he broke his neck.

The singer - who first found fame on TV's Popstars, then Pop Idol - declared: "I feel like the luckiest man alive."

Speaking about the accident for the first time, he tells the new edition of Hello! magazine he turned down an operation because he feared it may damage his voice.

Campbell - formerly known as Darius Danesh - said his "trauma compression injury" was similar to that suffered by Superman actor Christopher Reeve, who was paralysed after a horse-riding accident.

The 30-year-old stage star, who is still in a neck brace, was a passenger in a Porsche when it hit a wall at 70mph after skidding on oil during a sunshine break in Spain.

The impact caused one of his vertebrae to crack down the middle. He was told by a nurse: "Three millimetres this way, you no walk; three millimetres that way, you dead."

Campbell added: "It was like how you'd talk to a baby, but I knew what she was trying to say - I was the luckiest man alive."

He said the accident happened on a "lads' driving holiday" as they drove on a motorway in searing heat.

The star added: "Because of the haze, we didn't see that there was a diesel spill on the road. Before we could work out what was going on, it was already too late. The car careered out control on a bend, and we smashed into a wall at 70mph. My first recollection is my friend, the driver, asking if I was okay."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph