After setting off for work, metal bender Michael Benson was forced to pull his 50cc moped over so he could pull on his waterproofs in the midst of a summer downpour.
Minutes later, the 36-year-old was laying on the waterlogged ground with a leg snapped in two places and white foam coming from one of his ears.
His black Yamaha Neos had hit the back of a red BMW 523 – parked around a slight bend on double-yellow lines close to Blackpool Victoria Hospital – while the rain thundered down, leaving him with severe injuries.
And now, four months on, despite walking with a limp and needing another operation in the New Year, Michael has been forced back to work, where he endures his shifts in agony – after running out of cash and no longer being able to live on £111 a week and the kindness of others.
Insistent he wasn’t to blame for the accident, which left East Park Drive closed for several hours, he spoke to The Gazette in the hope a solicitor will read his story and take his case on.
All he wants, he said, is justice for the months of misery and pain he has gone through – which he said is caused by the taxi driver who abandoned his car after running out of petrol.
“The money is immaterial because I just about got myself back to work – I just want justice for what happened,” he said. “Who’s to say he won’t do it again? Next time it could be a lot worse.”
Michael, who lives in Stronsay Place in Bispham, was on his way to work in Marton at the time of the accident, 5.50am on Thursday, 24 August, 10 minutes before his shift was supposed to start.
After stopping at the traffic lights close to the hospital, Michael set off down towards Preston New Road, and said he was going 15mph when he hit the car without ever seeing it.
“I felt the whole lot, it was horrific,” he said. “I have had my jaw broken, I have broken my wrist, I have dislocated my shoulder. But this was something else.”
Two women – one a motorist and another believed to be a nurse at the Vic – stopped to help Michael, before he was taken to A&E.
He spent three days in hospital and has undergone physiotherapy. He has been left with four big scars on his leg, fragments of bone under the skin on his shin, 30 staples, and faces another operation to remove screws inserted following the crash.
He said: “The first eight days after, I was severely depressed. All I kept doing at night was thinking over and over what happened, and what I could have done.
“But there was nothing. The car should not have been there.”
With his mum Susan having to help with everyday tasks, and Michael relying on statutory sick pay which left him struggling to cover his bills or pay for food, he had to go back to work earlier this month.
He said: “I did three days last week and I was in agony. I just want this person – and all I know is he is a taxi driver – to accept responsibility for what he did.”
Michael said he has approached no win-no fee firms but said they are unwilling to take on his case because his chance of winning isn’t high enough, adding: “It’s driving me insane.”
The taxi driver’s car, which was used for personal use and not for work, was also damaged in the crash.
Lancashire Police said the owner was given a traffic offence report (TOR), handed out for minor traffic offences like illegally parking.