County Durham brother and sister 'will never live independently' after car crash ten years ago

Jack and Sophie Handywise suffered catastrophic injuries following a car crash in County Durham in September 2012. Credit: Family photo

A brother and sister "will require 24-hour support for the rest of their lives" after a car crash ten years ago left them with brain injuries.

In September 2012, Jack Handyside, 20, and Sophie Handyside, 18, suffered catastrophic injuries in a collision in Staindrop, County Durham.

Jack had a bleed on the brain, which was severely swollen, while Sophie suffered a fractured skull and broken wrist.

Two aircraft from the Great North Air Ambulance Service were sent to the scene of the crash to deliver advanced critical care, and they requested help from Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The siblings were anaesthetised on scene before being airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle.

Their father was also airlifted to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough.

Speaking ten years on from the crash, their mother Julie Elstob, from Barnard Castle, said they had come a long way

"They both have traumatic brain injuries and will require 24-hour support for the rest of their lives and will never live independently," she said.

“Lots of rehab and hard work has got them to where they are today.

“Jack is currently doing volunteering with support at a local animal rescue centre and Sophie is attending college with support doing health and social care.”

Jack and Sophie Handyside's mother said lots of "hard work" had got them to where they are today. Credit: Family photo

Since the incident, Ms Elstob has held several fundraisers in aid of the ambulance service and will be hosting an event just days after the tenth anniversary of the crash.

“Without the air ambulance I believe they wouldn’t be here today," she said.

"It was the quick work of getting them to hospital and the life-saving treatment that made a difference, so I’m organising another charity evening for them.”

Jack Handyside received critical care for a bleed on the brain, which was severely swollen, after the crash. Credit: Family photo

The charity night will take place at Butterknowle Village Hall on 1 October from 7:30pm till midnight and will feature live music and a raffle.

The GNAAS is a charitably funded air ambulance which provides services throughout the North East, North Yorkshire, and Cumbria.

It does not receive Government funding and must therefore raise £6.7m a year through public donations to remain operational.

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