Teenager faces bleak future after crash

A TEENAGE road crash victim's future has been thrown into turmoil after a road accident at a Suffolk blackspot left him with horrific leg injuries.Jake Chinnery, 16, of Naughton Road, Whatfield, was halfway through his GCSEs at Hadleigh High School and already had a job lined up when he finished school.

A TEENAGE road crash victim's future has been thrown into turmoil after a road accident at a Suffolk blackspot left him with horrific leg injuries.

Jake Chinnery, 16, of Naughton Road, Whatfield, was halfway through his GCSEs at Hadleigh High School and already had a job lined up when he finished school.

But disaster struck when he and a group of friends were walking home along the narrow, winding road that leads from the Hadleigh bypass to Whatfield.

Jake was seriously injured when he was in a collision with a car – and villagers say it has highlighted their growing concerns about the volume and speed of traffic in the area.


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The accident, which happened on June 8, shattered both bones in one leg as well as the small bones in his foot and toes. As he lay unconscious on the road his friends thought he had been killed.

His father, Chris, said Jake had drifted in and out of consciousness for several days in hospital.

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Now metal pins hold Jake's leg together and it will be Christmas before he knows whether the treatment has been successful. After that he may face months of physiotherapy.

For the active teenager, who described himself as an outdoor type, the enforced idleness is frustrating and the worry about his future is immense.

Mr Chinnery said: "He was so happy. He felt he'd got his life together. He was going into a job straight from school with a local company that makes swimming pools. Now we don't know whether he will be able to do the job or whether he will be left with a permanent limp.

"This used to be a quiet village. The children used to walk or bike to the primary school and we didn't see many cars. I didn't worry about them biking up to the school but I wouldn't let a child do it now."

Whatfield residents this week held a meeting in the village hall with representatives of the police and the Suffolk Highways Department. Nearly 80 residents turned up, indicating the level of concern in the small village.

Parish councillor Erica Bolam said traffic had become much worse since people started moving into a new estate at Aldham Mill Hill, Hadleigh, which is currently being built.

She said the village was being used as a rat run and a recent 24 hour traffic check had counted 1,172 vehicles going through the centre of the village. Of those, ten per cent were found to be speeding.

Now the county highways department is to try to come up with traffic calming measures.

Dave Watson, rural traffic manager, said: "We are going to explore the possibility of introducing some traffic calming measures and I will be going back to the parish with some possible ideas in September."

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