Crash victim backs country road safety campaign

An aspiring professional football player who almost died in a car crash is backing a new road safety campaign.

Chris Tucker, 27, had to learn to walk and talk again after the 2012 smash on the A96 in Moray, when the driver of the car he was in attempted to overtake another vehicle.

Front passenger Mr Tucker, who was on trial with Elgin City FC at the time, was initially given less than a 5% chance of survival and was in a coma for months.

Now he is supporting a Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland campaign warning drivers not to take risks on country roads.

Rural routes are said to account for more than half (58%) of all Scotland’s road deaths, with loss of control the biggest cause.

Chris, who suffered a brain injury, collapsed diaphragm, snapped hip and femur bones, and broken ribs, said: “You never think it’s going to happen to you.

“I was travelling home from a football match one minute and the next thing I know my career is over and I have to rebuild my life.

“To this day, I still face challenges because of my injuries and if I can prevent this happening to anyone else, or a death on our roads, by sharing my story then I feel my job is done.

“I’m now father to my daughter Harper-Mae and it’s a daunting prospect to think that I very nearly didn’t get that opportunity because of a split-second decision.

“Just slow down and prepare for the unexpected. Remember it’s not only you that faces the consequences of taking chances on the road.”

Chris Tucker with his daughter Harper-Mae
Chris Tucker with his daughter Harper-Mae

Two Elgin City players were given custodial sentences following the crash on the Nairn to Alves road on September 12 2012.

The most recent country road death figures show that two thirds of those killed or seriously injured in 2017 were men.

Almost half (47%) of all drivers killed or seriously injured were aged between 22 and 49.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “This campaign highlights the very real consequences of driving at an inappropriate speed on country roads.

“It doesn’t matter how well you know the route, you must prepare for the unexpected.

“Drivers need to realise they aren’t invincible and that it could easily happen to them.

“We want all drivers across Scotland, and particularly young men, to consider their actions and drive at an appropriate speed for the road conditions at all times.”