EXCLUSIVE: I pushed my baby's pram to safety before I was mown down by a ....

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Pipsqueak

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12679703/quick-thinking-mother-life-changing-injuries-drunk-driver-jailed-interview.html

EXCLUSIVE: I pushed my baby's pram to safety before I was mown down by a speeding car and I'd do it again to save my children: Hero mother who suffered life-changing injuries gives first interview since drunk driver was jailed after leaving her for dead

By Paul Thompson

Published: 12:42, 27 October 2023 | Updated: 13:57, 27 October 2023

A hero mother who pushed her baby's pram to safety in the split second before she was mown down by a speeding car causing life changing injuries today vowed: 'I would do exactly the same again to save my children.'

Becky Sharp was saluted for her courage and quick-thinking this week as a judge jailed the maniac drunk driver who left her for dead and would have hit her baby too if she hadn't acted so decisively.  While her 11-month-old daughter Lorena miraculously escaped injury, Becky was left with serious brain injuries and multiple fractures after being thrown 'like a rag doll' through the air.  The 31-year-old now faces years of rehabilitation as she recovers from the accident in April after being run over by scaffolder Dale Clark who had been distracted from his driving by trying to buy cocaine.  Earlier this week the 38-year-old was jailed for three and a half years at Bournemouth Crown Court after admitting causing serious injury by dangerous driving, failing to stop at an accident and drink driving.  Becky was in court to see him sentenced and had hoped he might express some remorse for 'turning my life upside down'.

But Clark, who had been on a vodka binge the night before the accident, failed to even look at Becky as she sat in a wheelchair with her husband Dan by her side.  She said: 'I wanted to go to court because I was angry, and I wanted to see him.  He did not make any eye contact and did not express any remorse. He said nothing directly to me.  I know he has written a letter to the court, and his mother came up to us at the end and said sorry. His grandmother mouthed 'sorry'. That was kind.  But I am upset that he hasn't said sorry to me directly.'

In an exclusive interview from her hospital room, Becky said she was pleased the judge had praised her as a hero.  She said: 'That was nice of him to recognise that I pushed my daughter out of the way, but I would do it all over again if it was to save one of my children.  I would do it multiple times if needs be. I am just grateful that Lorena was not hurt and that my other two children were not with me. I am so grateful that Lorena was not injured.'

Remarkably, while she says she is angry at Clark for the devastating effect of his recklessness she does not have any strong feelings of bitterness towards him even admitting that over time could even forgive him.  'I can't say I forgive him now, but over time maybe,' said Becky. 'I don't feel any real bitterness as he has gone to prison.  He has been given a prison sentence which I think is just. The maximum was five years, so it was fair. His life has changed. I'm not sure I can ask for more.'

Even though Clark,from New Milton, Hampshire, will likely be free in 18 months after serving half his sentence Becky accepts she could still be undergoing rehab.  Her life and that of her family were turned upside down on the morning of April 11th.  The charity fundraiser, who was on maternity leave, had dropped her two other daughters, Fionnula, eight and Matilda, six, at a holiday playgroup near her home in Bournemouth, Dorset when she crossed a road outside a park.  She was pushing Lorena in her pram when Clark, travelling at 40mph in a 30mph zone, ploughed into her.  Becky managed to push the pram out of the way and took the full brunt of the collision that launched her the length of a cricket pitch along the road. Clark sped off leaving her for dead and the pram upturned.  A witness to the crash memorised the number plate of Clark's RAV4 car before rushing to help the injured mother.  Clark was arrested later and found to be over the drink drive limit.  He initially denied being drunk and having taken cocaine but later admitted his guilt.  Clark also said in a police interview that he had been looking at his phone when he hit the mother-of-three as she crossed the road.  Becky was given an emergency blood transfusion at the roadside before being flown by air ambulance to hospital in Southampton.  Her husband Dan and family members were told to prepare for the worst.  The severity of Becky's brain injury has meant she has no recollection of the accident.  She was in a coma for eight weeks and has been in a rehabilitation unit at a hospital in Poole since being mown down.  While Becky cannot remember anything of the near fatal accident the events that followed are firmly imprinted on her husband Dan's memory.  A production manager for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute he was called at work by Becky's father Alan.  Dan said: 'Becky's dad called and said she had been in an accident and said she was very poorly. He said to prepare for the worst as there might not be a good outcome.  When I got to the hospital there were two police officers and one of them went off to take a phone call.  I thought he was getting a call to say that Becky had died. The other policeman was trying to distract me, and I was trying to hear what was being said and then I heard the words 'intensive care'.'

Dan, 40, said it was a shattering experience seeing his wife with such critical injuries.  He vividly remembers seeing feathers still stuck in her hair from where her down jacket had ripped open and was also struck how her arms and legs were covered in scratches but her face was untouched.  Doctors told him his youngest daughter had escaped injury and was being discharged from hospital. He then faced every parent's nightmare where he had to prepare the girls for their mother's death.  'I had to say to them mummy might not be coming home' said Dan.

'I do remember them asking 'Is mummy going to die' and I had to say I don't know. Of course, there were lots of tears.'

While Dan was helped with childcare by his family, Becky remained in a coma for eight weeks.  Surgeons had to drill into her skull to relieve the pressure on her skull caused by her brain swelling.  Doctors were not optimistic that Becky would pull through, but after the dosage of sedatives was slowly reduced her eyes flickered and she came out of the coma.  Since then, she has been undergoing intensive rehabilitation at a neuro unit in Poole Hospital where she has speech therapy and learned to walk again with physiotherapy.  While she has regained her speech and her memory is improving the extent of her brain injury means she gets tired very easily.  Both Becky and her husband acknowledge her recovery could take years but she is determined to regain as much of her former life as possible.  She hopes to return to work as a charity fundraiser and is looking forward to returning home in the New Year after another spell in a rehabilitation unit in Boscombe.  'I would like to do simple things like food shopping and just be with my girls' she said.

'I want to be able to help Dan out and just be a family again.'

While in hospital she has been buoyed by visits from her daughters. One wall of her room is plastered with paintings and drawings.  One from Matilda reads: 'You are doing good every day. I love you so much'.

Photos of the three girls cuddling their mum also take pride of place on the wall while a calendar has all three in Halloween costumes.  Being separated from the girls for so long has been particularly hard for Becky.  She says she has missed Lorena's first birthday and her first teeth coming through.  'She is walking now, and I have seen her walking which is nice,' she said proudly.

'Living away from my family has been the hardest part. It has been hard. The oldest girls are aware of what has happened and that I am in hospital.  My recovery is going well and it will be nice to be able to go home.'

Becky said she does not dwell on the accident but wants others to take note that the driver was drunk when he ploughed into her.  With the festive season coming up she wants to make people aware that they should not drink and drive.  'It is just not worth it. Look what has happened to me. I would not want anyone to go through what I have been through.  Please don't be temped to drink and drive.'

Becky is hopeful that she will be able to watch her husband running in the London Marathon next year with his close friend Ross MacLeod where they will be raising funds for the Brain Research Trust.  Dan said:' I am looking forward to it and just being able to take back some control and be productive to raise money for a great charity that funds a lot of research.'

'I'm hoping to cheer him on, that would be good, said Becky.

Donations can be made via https://2024tcslondonmarathon.enthuse.com/pf/ross-macleod