Daventry district Army engineer warns motorists after car crash ends military career

Jack in hospital recovering from his injuries
Jack in hospital recovering from his injuries

A young engineer involved in a car crash which is set to end his military career has warned motorists about the consequences of dangerous driving.

Jack Childs Watson, 20, suffered life-changing injuries after two cars crashed into his vehicle as they attempted to overtake a lorry and a coach.

Jack and his step-dad Mark Watson

Jack and his step-dad Mark Watson

Mr Childs Watson, who was left in intensive care following the accident on the A423 near Princethorpe, Rugby, lost the vision in his left eye and suffered fractured eye sockets, fractured cheekbones, multiple leg fractures, a ruptured spleen and lacerated liver.

As a result, it is likely that he will be discharged from the Army.

Mr Childs Watson, of West Haddon, realised a life-long ambition when signed up to become a vehicle mechanic in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in January 2016.

Now he is using Road Safety Week, which runs from November 20 to 26, to warn drivers that their actions can have far-reaching consequences.

Jack shortly after he signed up to the Army

Jack shortly after he signed up to the Army

Mr Childs Watson said: “The whole experience has been a nightmare. I like to be active and being in the Army was a dream come true for me but it is like someone has pressed the stop button now and I am trying to come to terms with what happened.

“Unfortunately I know all too well the devastating impact that dangerous driving can have on people.

“My dreams and aspirations for a career in the Army will never be realised because of this.

“My life has been changed forever because of the reckless actions of other motorists.

“I hope my accident and experience will highlight the need for concentration and safety on the road.”

Mr Childs Watson was a front-seat passenger in a friend’s Honda Civic when, without warning, the drivers of a Volvo S60 and a Ford Fiesta pulled out to overtake a coach and lorry as they approached the brow of a hill.

The Volvo driver was sentenced to two years in prison and the Fiesta driver received a 10-month custodial sentence in August after they pleaded guilty to four counts of dangerous driving occasioning serious injury and one charge of dangerous driving respectively.

Since the accident on November 25 last year, Mr Childs Watson has undergone surgery to fix his right eye socket, as well as surgery on both cheekbones, his wrist and a fracture to his left foot from which there is no guarantee of success.

He has been warned by medical staff that there is an increased risk to his vision in his right eye, and that further surgery will likely be needed to help his recovery.

As well as the physical injuries, the crash has left Mr Childs Watson suffering emotionally as he is likely to be discharged from the Army on medical grounds, bringing an end to what he hoped would be a life-long career.

He said: “It was always my dream from being a child to join the Army and travel the world.

“The fact that it is likely I will have to be medically discharged from the Army has been really difficult to come terms with.

“A bad decision taken by others in a split-second has turned my life upside down.

“However, I’m determined to try and not dwell on the past though and I am looking forward and focusing fully on my rehabilitation.”

Georgina Moorhead, a solicitor with serious injury lawyers Irwin Mitchell which is representing Mr Childs Watson, said: “This incident highlights the tragic and devastating consequences a lack of concentration, attention and thought for other road users behind the wheel can have.

“Due to the actions of these men, a young man has been permanently and very seriously injured and will need significant rehabilitation to regain some form of independence.

“We will continue working with Jack and his family to help him secure the necessary funds to help to maximise his long term recovery.”