THE SURVIVAL of the wife of a senior councillor who was seriously injured in a car collision – breaking nearly every rib in her body – has been described as a miracle.
County Councillor Roger Thomas, 69, who represents Hailsham and Herstmonceux, was getting ready to go to the launch of the new Sussex Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority at Brighton Sealife Centre on March 31.
His 66-year-old wife Jenny, who works as a radiographer, was driving home in a Peugeot 207 on the A272 near Heathfield when her car collided with a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction, at about 5.30pm.
Mr Thomas said, “I was at home getting ready and somebody at the scene rang the emergency services.
“They managed to get Jenny to give my number and I was there in five minutes.
“I just told her to keep quiet – I was able to speak to her through the window as the firefighters took the top off the car.
“They used a spinal board as a precaution. She was that close to being killed it was unbelievable.”
Mrs Thomas suffered a broken right collar bone, left arm, cracked sternum – and she broke virtually every rib in her body, her husband said.
The breaks were fortunately clean, not splintered.
Mr Thomas believed the car’s airbag saved his wife from suffering even more serious injuries.
He added, “When you are watching your wife being cut out of a wreck it’s something of an experience.
“I am just very, very glad that she got out alive.“
Mr Thomas said his wife had made good progress at Kent and Sussex Hospital in Tunbridge Wells before coming home to rest before a future operation.
Mr Thomas said the couple, who have been married for 33 years, were overwhelmed by support they received from people, including fellow councillors of all political parties – and he was extremely impressed by the professionalism shown by police, firefighters, and medical staff at the scene.
Mr Thomas added, “People have been extremely kind and thoughtful.”
The driver of the other car is also believed to have broken some bones as a result of the collision.