Chase crash victim has a broken back

A DRIVER who was pulled from the wreckage of his car after being hit by a vehicle being chased by police has a broken back, it was revealed today.

Grant Sherlock

A DRIVER who was pulled from the wreckage of his car after being hit by a vehicle being chased by police has a broken back, it was revealed today.

Rob Gentry was driving a silver Volkswagen Golf when it was in collision with a white Vauxhall Vectra which was being pursued by police along Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, yesterday.

Today he is in Ipswich Hospital with a broken back, unsure of whether his injuries will affect him forever.

Mr Gentry's Golf was badly damaged in the crash and he had to be cut free before he could be taken to Ipswich Hospital.

The 20-year-old driver of the Vectra, who sustained non-life threatening head injuries, was arrested at the scene before he was taken to hospital by ambulance under police guard. He was still being questioned today.

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Today Mr Gentry's brother-in-law, Shaun Kirk, told of the family's ordeal since the accident.

Mr Kirk, 39, of Beechcroft Road, said: “He is not in a good way. He has got thoughts about his income and looking after his family as well as being in a lot of pain.

“He had surgery on his knee last night after suffering ligament damage from the accident however doctors have told him it will be Tuesday before they operate on his back.”

Mr Kirk, who described Mr Gentry as “a hard-working family man” said the family rushed to Ipswich Hospital to be at Mr Gentry's bedside after yesterday's crash.

“He was traumatised. He's got a large gash in his knee and he was really concerned with the amount of pain in his back,” he said.

“All we could do was reassure him that we didn't know how bad it was yet.”

The family now have an agonising wait to see if Mr Gentry's broken back with leave him with lifelong injuries.

Yesterday's drama began at around 6.30am when residents in Kings Avenue, Ipswich, were woken by a mob of up to ten people embroiled in a fight, several of whom were armed with metal pipes and wood.

When officers arrived soon after, the group dispersed, with a number jumping into a white Vauxhall Vectra and speeding away.

The car made its way to Woodbridge Road where it was involved in a collision with Mr Gentry's Golf near the Case is Altered pub.

Mr Kirk said Mr Gentry, a refrigeration engineer who lives in Lonsdale Close, less than half a mile from the scene of the crash, had left early for work yesterday because of his heavy workload at the moment.

“He turned into Woodbridge Road and in a matter of 50 yards was confronted by the Vectra coming the other way.

“We've already said, looking at the damage and everything else, that he could be dead.

“We had a barbeque planned for his birthday this weekend but now he will spend it in hospital. We are all trying to pull together.”

Mr Gentry, who is aged in his mid-30s, has a two-year-old son Charlie as well as a step-daughter Emily.

Send your messages of support to Rob Gentry and his family by e-mailing starnews@eveningstar.co.uk or write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.