Rally fan injured in 'freak' crash
Carer husband has to learn to walk again: ME sufferer
Published 24/08/2007 | 08:23
A Man seriously injured after a rally car careered into a crowd of spectators in Co Armagh will have to learn how to walk again, his wife has said.
Thomas McParland (52) was seriously hurt when the car crashed into him and his 19-year- old son at Lurgan Park earlier this month.
The rally enthusiast, who has been attending rallies for the past 35 years, suffered serious head injuries and his leg was broken in two places.
Seven people were injured, including Mr McParland's son, after the Mitsubishi Lancer driven by experienced Greyabbey driver Dickie Curran crashed through a crowd barrier and into a group of spectators close to the paddock.
The rally, which has been running for 28 years, is raced entirely inside Lurgan Park and is a popular spectator event.
The crash happened within metres of the rally control centre and the corporate hospitality area of Turkington Holdings, the rally sponsors, whose staff immediately provided shelter and support for spectators.
Mr McParland's wife Joan, who suffers from ME, said her husband is her sole carer and that there has been no indication of when he will be fit enough to be released from hospital.
Mr McParland, from Bessbrook, was knocked unconscious and Joan, who was at home, was left massively upset after a frantic call from her son.
" My son phoned and said Thomas was lying unconscious with blood everywhere. I thought he was dead. I started panicking.
"He had a serious head injury but thankfully the doctors are not as concerned about it anymore. However, he still has a badly broken leg and he is going to have to learn how to walk again.
"Thomas is a HGV driver and will not be able to go back to work for a long time. He is also my sole carer so things are very difficult at this time."
However, Joan said she does not blame the driver or the organisers for what happened to her husband. "It was a freak accident and nobody is to blame, but it has had some very serious consequences."
A full investigation has been launched into the accident. It is being conducted by the organisers, the North Armagh Club, and officials of British motorsport's governing body, the RACMSA.