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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Family appeal as Cumbria police search for witnesses to road smash

The family of a young rugby player who remains in a hospital’s intensive care unit after a Valentine’s Day road smash have issued an appeal for information.

Steven Higgins photo
Steven Higgins with sister Natalie

Steven Higgins, 23, suffered multiple injuries in the crash on the A66.

His family have been at his bedside in the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough since the accident, though medics can not say what the long-term effects of his injuries will be.

They agreed to speak publicly in the hope that Steven’s plight might prompt somebody to come forward with the vital information police need to explain the crash. Officers are particularly keen to trace the driver of a blue BMW who they believe could be a witness.

The accident happened at 10.30am on February 14 five miles west of the Rheged Centre near Penrith.

Steven was a passenger in a Vauxhall Vivaro van which collided with a Peugeot van travelling in the opposite direction. The BMW was last seen heading west along the A66.

Steven’s sister Natalie, 21, described how the crash had turned the family’s world upside down as they were still coming to term with the death in 2009 of their father Raymond, 46.

Natalie, who works at the a day nursery in Low Crosby, near Carlisle, told how their mother Tracey, 46, had to identify Steven, who lives with her in Carlisle, as he lay unconscious in hospital.

“We want to appeal for somebody to come forward with information because this accident has ruined our lives,” said Natalie.

“Steven suffered a head trauma, breaks to his pelvis, a blood clot on the stomach, internal bleeds, a dislocated shoulder, and they’ve had to insert a filter below his heart.

“Now we are just waiting to see how he’s going to come out of this. They can’t really tell us anything yet because he’s still on a lot of medication and he has a tracheotomy in.

“We’re just hoping now that we’ll get him back the way that he was before.”

Steven’s many friends are rooting for him to make a recovery. One, Matty McBride commented: “He’s my best pal. He’s a lad’s lad – but he’s also a hard worker who wants to get on and do well.”

A keep fit fanatic, who plays as a fly half for Carlisle Rugby Football Club, Steven works for Northern Gas Networks and was on his way to a job when the accident happened.

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