London

Croydon tram crash survivor's life 'now a nightmare'

Matthew Parnell
Image caption Matthew Parnell is pleased TfL has admitted liability

A survivor of the Croydon tram crash has said his life has been a nightmare since it happened.

Mathew Parnell seriously hurt his head when the tram derailed moments before it reached Sandilands Junction on 9 November 2016. Seven people died.

Mr Parnell lost his job as a HGV driver as his driving licence was suspended on medical grounds.

"It's a total nightmare, absolute nightmare but what can you do? That's the situation," he said.

"I was just travelling to work on a normal day and this happened and as a result it's pretty much destroyed our lives."

Transport for London and Tramtrack Croydon Limited have now both admitted liability, meaning the families of those that died and the survivors will not have to endure a civil trial for compensation as they do not have to prove negligence.

"It's a good thing as at least they're not fighting it and they've admitted that they are in the wrong so in that way I think it's a good thing for all the families," said Mr Parnell.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The speed limit has now been lowered at the junction

Jonathan Fox, TfL's director of London Rail, said: "The cause of the tragic derailment at Sandilands last November is not yet known and we continue to assist with the ongoing investigations.

"This is clearly a terribly difficult time for everyone affected. We have been in touch with everyone injured who has notified us of a claim and with the dependents of the people who lost their lives to confirm that liability is admitted in respect of their civil claims.

"We urge anyone needing further help to contact us straight away."

The Rail Accident Investigation Bureau (RAIB) said initial indications showed passengers were "ejected or partially ejected" from the tram.

Investigators added the brake was applied two and a half seconds before the crash, suggesting the driver "lost awareness".

A total of 70 passengers were on board in November, 51 of which were taken to hospital with injuries.

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