'Horror crash left me broken...but I'm glad the woman responsible wasn't jailed' says victim who suffered catalogue of devastating injuries

Zilvinas Viltrakis’ live was destroyed when he suffered a catalogue of agonising injuries in the crashZilvinas Viltrakis’ live was destroyed when he suffered a catalogue of agonising injuries in the crash
Zilvinas Viltrakis’ live was destroyed when he suffered a catalogue of agonising injuries in the crash
The driver of the vehicle was given the most unpaid work a court could sentence her to and her victim says he is glad she wasn’t locked up

A Kettering motorcyclist who was left ‘broken’ after a horror crash says he’s glad the woman responsible for his pain has not been jailed. Zilvinas Viltrakis was airlifted to hospital with injuries including a punctured lung, broken bones and a damaged spleen after the incident last year. He struck a vehicle driven by Deborah Fahy, who had pulled out to perform a U-turn and had not seen him coming in the opposite direction just metres away.

Fahy faced a possible prison term yesterday (Wednesday) but was instead given the most unpaid work a court could sentence her to – and Mr Viltrakis was pleased she was not locked up despite him still suffering almost one year on. He said: “Human beings make mistakes. It’s one-in-a-million but it happened to her and it happened to me. She didn’t do it on purpose and thank God I’m not dead. I’m very lucky.”

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Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard 56-year-old Fahy, of Stanley Street in Rothwell, was in heavy traffic on the A6183 Weekley Wood Lane when the incident happened at about 5.20pm on July 7. Roads were congested because of a fatal collision which had happened on a nearby stretch of the A43 hours earlier.

Travelling in the opposite clear carriageway on the straight road was Mr Viltrakis, who was riding his Yamaha motorbike and on his way to visit friends the day before his 38th birthday. Prosecutor Julie Costello said Fahy pulled out and performed a U-turn in front of him from about 20m away on the road, which has a 60mph speed limit, causing him to smash into the side of her Citroen. Ms Costello said: “He did not have time to react and it caused him to fly off his bike. He could not recollect much after that and was taken by air ambulance to Coventry Hospital.”

Ms Costello added that many witnesses saw the incident and that it was clear that Fahy, who pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by careless driving, had ‘not paid attention’.

Mr Viltrakis spent eight days in hospital, requiring surgery and metal plates. He was treated for fractured ribs, a broken collarbone and nose, damage to his spine and spleen, a punctured lung and nasty cuts, being left with a 15cm scar. He is still undergoing specialist treatment.

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He was at court yesterday to watch proceedings and Ms Costello read his victim impact statement on his behalf.

In the statement he said he had to wear a back brace for some time, still limps, finds it hard to go up and down stairs and couldn’t sleep because of severe back pain. His wife had to care for him, he had to cancel a holiday, his bike was completely written off and he lost wages from being unable to work as a lorry driver for six weeks. Months after the crash he was suffering from extreme pain in his knee and MRI results took so long to come back that he flew to Lithuania to go private.

The statement said: “I am mentally drained from what I’ve been through…it has destroyed the person that I was.”

Mitigating, Dan Svoronos said Fahy was extremely remorseful and had been ‘dissecting the incident second-by-second’. He said she had waited for the car in front to move so there was sufficient space for her to turn around but didn’t see the biker coming. The court heard Fahy had no points on her licence, had no previous convictions and had never even had a parking ticket. Mr Svonoros said: “She is extremely sorry about the manoeuvre she decided to make and is extremely sorry for the consequences.”

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Fahy was sentenced to a two-year community order with 300 hours of unpaid work – the maximum number of hours magistrates could impose. She was also banned from driving for two years and must pay costs of £85 and a surcharge to fund victim services of £114. Compensation is being dealt with outside court proceedings.

Chair of the bench Amanda Robinson told her: “That split-second decision that you made impacted someone so very, very badly indeed.”

Speaking after the case at his Kettering home, Mr Viltrakis said his story will feature on Channel 5 show RTA 999 and that he believed his airbag inside his bike leathers saved his life. He described the transition from being fit and healthy to living with traumatic injuries as a ‘nightmare’. He said: “I was going to the gym daily and playing basketball. After that, boom, that’s it. Mentally, I’m still broken. I’m still healing…I’m not quite there yet.”

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