‘Lorry surfer’ teen might never walk again, says father
The devastated father of a teenage boy has said his son “may never walk again” after he was run over by a 37-ton vehicle while attempting a so-called ‘lorry surf’.
Scott Rodgers (14) from Newtownabbey, Co Antrim sustained horrific injuries to his legs after jumping from a wall outside a landfill site — known locally as Ballyduff quarry — on to the top of a lorry.
But the schoolboy lost his balance and fell underneath the wheels of the massive vehicle, crushing his legs.
The lorry driver is believed to have called 999 while a friend ran to Scott’s house to raise the alarm.
He was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital on August 10 and then transferred to the Ulster Hospital to be treated for a broken right femur, crushed left foot and right ankle.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph his father Ian Rodgers (40) said his son — a promising footballer — now “faces a lifetime trying to walk with plates and screws in his leg”.
“He will be badly scarred for the rest of his life. He is going to have plates and screws in his leg too,” he said.
“We don’t know if he will end up in a wheelchair and just walk a bit, on crutches or with a stick.
“We have been told he will never going to walk properly again, we know that for a fact.
“He is very withdrawn and very down, and the concern at the moment is how he will cope with it mentally.”
Mr Rodgers, however, said his son could have died.
“We know Scott could have lost his life.
“But we are just devastated by what has happened to him.”
In a twist of cruel fate the teenager had the night before just signed for a local youth football team and played his first match.
“He was actually signed up on the night before the accident for Ballyclare Comrades Youth Team,” Mr Rodgers said.
“He had a lot of promise and was going to join the school rugby team, but unfortunately that is not going to happen now.”
Mr Rodgers has now appealed to other young people to stop the craze, saying that a life will be lost if action isn’t taken now.
“All parents need to be aware of the dangers of lorry surfing. I had never heard of it before. I knew the kids gathered up there but someone could die if it isn’t stopped.”
Police are also warning youths of the danger of playing around quarries.
A spokesman said: “It has been brought to our attention that youths are attempting to jump on lorries as they leave and enter the quarry.
“While this may seem daring or fun they must realise that they are taking their lives and the lives of the people driving these vehicles into their hands.”
Ulster Unionist councillor for the area John Scott said it has been an “accident waiting to happen” for at least 10 years.
“The young ones, especially this time of year when they are off school, see it as a great thing to jump on the back of a lorry,” he said. “The lorries have to slow down to such a speed when trying to get into the quarry.
“This was a major accident waiting to happen—a few more inches under the wheels and he would have been dead. His body and organs would have been crushed. It needs to stop now before someone dies.”