BANGKOK – British Tourist 22 year old Bradley Steer said he feels lucky to have escaped with his life after being involved in a crash in Thailand which killed five people.
Bradley was among 38 people who were injured when a bus traveling from Bangkok to Chumphon came off the highway and flipped over on February 6 at around 3.45am.
Bradley, who is recovering in a hotel in Bangkok from injuries including compression to both lungs, broken ribs and a broken collarbone, has described his memories of the ordeal.
“My overriding memory is something waking me up, not sure what, but the coach then started lurching from left to right while traveling at very high speed and then it tipped onto its side,” Bradley said. “The next thing I remember is coming to in some bushes, I remember a person lying next to me face down making some frightening noises.
“I then remember calling for help and a person then helping me out of the bushes onto the back of a truck.”
The former Guildford County School pupil said before the crash he remembered a number of people on the coach being concerned at its speed and some people asking the driver to slow down.
Bradley was taken to a hospital in Chumphon, where he was put on a ventilator and had his hands and legs tied to the bed.
“I have no recollection of the first hospital I was taken to and I do not remember being transferred to Khet Udomsak Hospital in Chumporn but I remember being in extreme pain and discomfort not helped by my hands and legs being tied to the bed,” Bradley said.
“My next memory is of my mum and dad arriving in the early hours of Thursday morning and them being totally distraught with my injuries and the condition of the hospital they found me in.
“I do remember being transferred by air ambulance to ICU in Vichaiyut Hospital Bangkok. The care and treatment that I received at Vichaiyut Hospital during the next week was of a very high standard which was totally the opposite to my experience in the Khet Udomsak Hospital.”
Bradley had set off from the UK on his own on January 20 and planned to spend two months in Thailand before moving on to Australia for a year.
Having met two men from Portsmouth, who were also seriously injured in the crash, they had planned to travel south of the country.
“I do feel very aggrieved that this accident was allowed to happen at all as it has destroyed one of my life’s dreams of traveling through Asia and Australia,” Bradley said.
Bradley had been told it will take between six months and a year to fully recover, but he is determined to get back to full fitness as soon as he can.
Since the crash, Bradley’s friends and family have been fundraising to help with the cost the Steer’s have endured in flying to visit him and medical payments, which is nearing £20,000.
Bradley’s sister Lucy has said there have been conflicting issues with the insurers, meaning so far they have not received financial support from the company.
“It is fair to say that the constant chasing of the insurers and lack of support and communication we have received throughout the entire ordeal has caused no end of stress and upset to us as a family, but also to Bradley who is so desperate to come home after what has already been a very traumatic experience,” Lucy said.
On Sunday February 24, family friend Alex Burton organized a charity football match on Stoke park, which raised £1,500.
Another family friend, Marie Lee, has set up a fundraising page which is totaling nearly £7,000. Anyone wanting to add to the total can do so by visiting www.fundrazr.com/campaigns/7Qy96.
“The support from family and friends over the past three weeks since the accident has been truly overwhelming,” Bradley said. “It has given me the will power and strength to overcome my injuries and look to the future.”