Doctors confident they can save legs of British couple crushed in Bruges drink-drive smash
Friday 04 January 2013
Doctors are confident they can save the legs of a British couple crushed by a drink-driver in Bruges.
Simon Huxtable, 44, and Deborah Dale, 34, were strolling through the picturesque Belgian city on New Year's Day when they were hit by a Mercedes being driven the wrong way along a one-way street.
Ms Dale, the most seriously injured of the two, remains in a medically induced coma in hospital.
Doctors treating the holidaymakers had feared they would be forced to amputate their legs, but Mr Huxtable appears to be recovering from his injuries and medics are optimistic that his partner will also escape losing her limbs.
Inspector Philippe Dankrey said: "There is still a small percentage chance that they will have to amputate but it seems that they will be able to save their legs. It is very good news."
The couple, from Witney, Oxfordshire, are both in intensive care at St Jan's hospital in Bruges. Family members are at their bedsides.
The pair had been staying at a hotel in the heart of the city when they set out for a morning walk on New Year's Day.
As they crossed the top of a T-junction at 10.30am local time, they were struck by the Mercedes.
The driver, who had been at a New Year's Eve party in the city centre, failed to stop at the junction and ploughed straight into the pair, pinning them against the wall of a house.
Police believe he was travelling at more than 30kph - the speed limit in that area.
Inspector Dankrey said: "He drove a bit too fast and, as he had been drinking, he had too much alcohol in his blood.
"Then he hit the couple. They were squashed between the car and the front of the house.
"Neighbours heard the victims' screaming and came out of their houses to help."
A 22-year-old was arrested for drink-driving and causing injuries to two people.
He was later released from custody and his driving licence revoked for two weeks.
He will appear in court in the next couple of months.
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