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Man hit by bus in Johnstown recalls horror

Published date: 25 March 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A BRICKLAYER’S boots saved his feet when he was run over by a packed 10-tonne bus.

Robert Phillips, 27, suffered severe injuries to his left leg when he was hit by a bus in Johnstown in February.

But his feet were completely unscathed – thanks to his steel toe-capped size nines.

Mr Phillips was floored by the single-decker bus, which ran over the toes of his right foot and his left calf and foot, at a pelican crossing near the corner of Bangor Road and High Street.

Eyewitnesses described seeing Mr Phillips lying on the flood screaming out in pain after the collision.

He has since had a series of four operations and doctors said it will be at least 15 months before his bones heal.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the horrific incident, he said: “My tibula and fibula broke, my ankle was smashed to pieces and the whole left foot spun round 180 degrees.

“The doctors say I’m very lucky to have my feet.

“If I hadn’t been wearing steel toe-capped boots I would have lost my feet for sure. Thankfully they withstood the weight of the bus.

“My feet themselves don’t have a mark on them. I always wear proper work boots.”

Mr Phillips was walking home on the afternoon of February 11 after being dropped of by his father.

He was knocked to the ground, smashed the bus windscreen and fell against railings in front of the bus.

The Arriva bus went over him with its front wheels and stopped with just inches to spare before the rear wheels also struck him.

“A woman driver put a blanket over me and I was taken to Wrexham Maelor Hospital,” Mr Phillips said.

“I was there for six hours but my injuries were so severe they sent me to Stoke.”

Mr Phillips, who lives with girlfriend Stacey Roberts, 21, and son Evan Phillips, two, was discharged from hospital on March 3.

He is now on crutches but cannot leave his house because an open wound is prone to infection.

He also has a metal cage built around his leg.

“I don’t let it get me down,” he said. “I’m very happy to be here at all and to have my legs and my feet is a bonus.

“The doctors said it was only thanks to medical advances in the last 10 years that they were able to save my leg.”

Mr Phillips has since written to Scruffs Workwear – makers of his steel toecapped boots – and told the staff how they had saved his feet.

The firm is now sending him a new pair to wear.

Scruffs spokesman Chris Mellor-Dolman said: “All of our products are put through rigorous safety tests and we’re not surprised that they stood up to a 10-tonne bus.

A spokesman for Arriva Bus Midlands , which operate the Johnstown service, said: “We are pleased to hear the good news regarding Mr Phillips and we wish him a speedy recovery following the incident in Johnstown.”

l However, it seems good luck with work boots does not run in Mr Phillips’ family. In 1985 his dad Nigel, 52, was involved in a forklift truck accident and the toecap on his right boot caved in and he had to have half his right foot amputated.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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