We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


Dean Gaffney on his car crash: I wasn't wearing my seatbelt

The ex-EastEnder said he was lucky not to have sustained brain damage

Former EastEnders actor Dean Gaffney has said he is "very lucky" not to have been left blind or brain damaged after injuries sustained in a car crash last month when he was not wearing a seatbelt.

Gaffney appeared on television this morning with a large scar down one side of his forehead.

Speaking to Daybreak hosts Aled Jones and Lorraine Kelly about the accident, he admitted to not wearing a safety belt. He said: “I know I'm a naughty boy and it takes something like this – I always learn the hard way in my life.”

The 34-year-old actor, who played Robbie Jackson in the soap, suffered head injuries after he hit the central reservation of a Derbyshire road in his Mini on 30 January.

Part of the A38 was closed for nearly three hours after the crash and the car, which was not driveable after the accident, removed from the area.

“I was trapped inside [the car]. It reads worse than it actually was. I mean the fact that I didn’t have the seatbelt on. The NHS really looked after me and I want to say thank you to those guys – and they said that had I been wearing a seatbelt I probably would have just got whiplash and I would have walked away with none of this," he said.

“It could have been a lot worse. One inch down and I would have been blind, and one inch up I would have been brain damaged. So there’s so many things that could have gone wrong and the fact that I'm able to walk away and obviously you’ve got this campaign with the seatbelt thing, it’s so important – I can’t stress that enough.”

The actor, who says he is recovering well, has vowed never to drive without his seatbelt again.