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WATCH: Bearwood woman hit by driver at 101mph speaks out in road safety campaign

By Dayna Farrington | Sandwell | News | Published:

A Bearwood woman who was hit by a car doing 101mph is speaking out in a bid to spread the message about road safety in a hard-hitting video.

Harriet Barnsley was hit by a driver speeding at 101mph

Harriet Barnsley was just 21-years-old when she and her life-long friend Rebecca McManus, from Oldbury, were hit by a speeding vehicle on Hagley Road West in May 2014.

The pair were on their way to a hen night when Sukvinder Mannan ploughed into them in his sports car as they stood at a bus stop. He had been racing another driver – and travelling at 101mph in a 40mph zone.

Tragically, Rebecca died at the scene from injuries sustained in the crash. Mannan, of Roundhills Road, Halesowen, was later jailed for eight years after admitting to causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving.

WATCH: Harriet Barnsley tells her story

Harriet's Story

Now, five years after the collision, Harriet has told her story in a new West Midlands Fire Service video – which will be shown to thousands of students and young drivers across the region.

'Harriet's Story' also features her parents, Rebecca's father, members of the emergency services who responded to the crash scene and Harriet's physiotherapist.

In hard-hitting detail, Karen and Steve Barnsley recall the police phone call telling them about the collision and the anxious weeks they spent at their daughter's hospital bedside.

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Rebecca McManus

Two West Midlands Fire Service firefighters and West Midlands Police officers describe the horror of the crash scene. Rebecca's dad, Gez McManus, recounts the moment officers knocked at his door to tell him his daughter had died.

And Harriet, now 25, reflects on her slow recovery from multiple injuries, operations and a month-long coma.

In the video, she says: "I didn’t understand what had happened. I remember asking mum what was wrong with me.

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"I thought I had done something to cause it to myself.”

Accept

Five years on, Harriet is still receiving physiotherapy, which also features in the video, and blogs about her life since the collision.

She added: "The number one thing is to learn to accept what has happened.

"I think that is one of the things that a lot of people find really hard, because they are fighting why it had to happen. I think it is important to focus on what you have and that you have survived.

“It has been a hell of a few years – the hardest of my life – but I am slowly getting through it.”

The aftermath of the tragedy

Antonia Gillespie, from West Midlands Fire Service's road casualty reduction team, said: "Harriet's Story sends a powerful message to all drivers and passengers about the choices they make on the road.

“We are extremely grateful to Harriet for her thought-provoking interview, and to all of the contributors.

“The video, which will be shared on West Midlands Fire Service’s YouTube channel and website, will also now form a key part of our education work, especially with young drivers and students.”

To read Harriet's blog, visit thistooshallpass464.wordpress.com

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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