'I took quite the hit': Man injured in Pontyclun pub crash 'very lucky to be alive'

  • Darren George spoke to ITV Wales from his hospital bed

A man rushed to hospital after a car crashed into a pub beer garden full of people has said everyone was "lucky to be alive" after the incident.Darren George, 30, is still in hospital with leg fractures, ankle breaks and deep wounds after a car crashed into the Windsor pub in Pontyclun on 22 July.

He also has a broken pelvis and will need skin grafts on his legs.He was one of six people taken to hospital after the 79-year-old driver suffered what police said was a "medical episode" behind the wheel.

Mr George was at the pub on Thursday evening having drinks with friends. He was sitting on a picnic bench with three others when he said the car crashed into them.

He said: "I've tried to move, so I've probably turned away then and all I can remember is just kind of being tumbled around and my face just grazing up against the wall.

"Next thing I know I'm kind of still somehow on my feet. I turned around and seen everyone on the floor and everything...so much is going through your head then."

Mr George added that he "took quite the hit".

Darren will need skin grafts and further operations following his serious injuries

Mr George said that because of his position on the bench, he was able to see the vehicle veer towards the pub beer garden.South Wales Police said that the driver suffered a "medical episode" behind the wheel, no arrests had been made and the investigation into what happened is ongoing."I just saw out of the corner of my eye, the car coming over the brow of the hill and he’s come over onto the wrong side of the road" said Mr George."So I was looking at that and I said to my friend Dean, ‘look at this mad one’."He literally just narrowly missed a car coming out by the rugby club, he was on the pavement then and then swung back onto the other side of the road".

Police say the driver of the car had suffered a "medical episode"

Mr George said he soon realised that the table would take the force of the hit as "the driver just had his foot completely on the accelerator and came straight towards us."He said that he was "lucky" only to have damaged his leg after being hit and that everyone was "lucky to be alive." He said that the help offered by members of the community in the minutes after the incident was invaluable.

Mr George, who remains in hospital while he undergoes further operations on his legs, said he has struggled to come to terms with what happened to him.

"I don’t know how I feel about the whole thing. I just want to try and stay positive more than anything. It’s happened, you can’t change it, I just want to keep going forward."

Mr George said he owes his positivity to the members of the community who helped in the aftermath of the incident and have offered support since."Considering you can't have visitors because of covid, I haven’t been lonely - I’ve had plenty of people on the phone with me," he added."I want to express my deep gratitude to the entire community because without their support I won’t be able to stay so positive and happy. It has been so helpful and important to me."

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