Parents slam driver’s sentence after horror smash

The Flynn family
The Flynn family

The parents of two Billington sisters hurt in a horrific crash have slammed the “lenient sentence” given to the driver responsible.

Jakub Kwasniewski, of Whalley Road, Clitheroe, admitted driving without due care and attention when he appeared before Blackburn magistrates.

He received seven penalty points to his licence, was fined £250 and ordered to pay a £25 victim surcharge plus £85 court costs.

Hannah and Jessica Flynn’s parents, Keith and Barbara, of Sunnyside Avenue, Billington, have slammed the sentence passed by magistrates.

“The sentence is a joke. Our daughters were almost killed in this accident. He should have been banned for at least six months. The sentence passed was too lenient,” they said.

Recalling the “horrendous” moment they discovered their girls had been involved in a serious car accident, Keith (57) said: “It was absolutely devastating and shocking. I was working at Calderstones and ran from the hospital to the scene near Spring Wood Picnic Site.

“It was total chaos. Hannah had suffered horrific injuries and was being attended to by emergency services while Jessica was covered in bruises.”

Barbara (51) added: “It was a living nightmare. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. That day Keith and I thought we could lose both our girls – we could end up childless.”

Reacting to changes to the junction, Keith said: “It’s a positive sign that the speed limit has been reduced. People drive along that road extremely fast.

“As a family we would hate to stand back and allow a similar life-shattering event to hit another family and just hope police and county officers can now concentrate on enforcing the reduced speed limit.”

Since October, Hannah has remained an in-patient at Rakehead Rehabilitation Unit at Burnley General Hospital and has only recently been allowed home over the weekends.

The former pupil of Ribblesdale High School Technology College, Clitheroe, has received daily physiotherapy treatment as well as speech and language therapy.

She was confined to a wheelchair, but is slowly regaining the use of her legs and can now walk aided.

However, she is not out of the woods yet and this week underwent a cranioplasty (a surgical repair of a deformity of the skull) at the Royal Preston Hospital.

“Although the recovery is slow, Hannah has been extremely brave,” explained Barbara. “Both my girls have been left traumatised and Jessica hasn’t been able to drive since the accident, but we feel this devastating and life-changing incident has brought us closer as a family. We are grateful to all our family, friends and health professionals who have supported us.”

Hannah, who wishes to pursue a career in health and social care, said: “I am trying to remain positive and would like to concentrate on getting better. I know it will take time, but I am determined to make a full recovery.”