A FORMER FOOTBALLER whose career was ended when he was involved in a horrific road accident involving two vehicles returning from an Elgin City youth fixture has been helping educate young people on the dangers of driving.
Chris Tucker, 24, was on trial at the Moray club when he was returning from a mid-week fixture in Dingwall in one of two cars that collided on the A96 near Alves.
Chris was one of six players involved in the crash that were all rushed to Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin for treatment in September 2012 – but only Chris suffered near-fatal injuries that resulted in his being in a coma for two months.
Now this week Chris is addressing around 5000 pupils from schools throughout Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen and Moray at the ‘Safe Drive, Stay Alive’ event in the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen. He said: “I do not want anyone to go through what I have been through, and that is why I decided to come and speak at the show.”
Speaking of the aftermath of the accident he said: “As a result of the crash I had to learn to walk again – it ended my career as a footballer which was hard to take, but that is something I have to deal with.
“My family went through so much and you just don’t realise how bad it was for them. I was very lucky to survive the crash and I was told that I only survived because I was fit and determined to get through.”
‘Safe Drive, Stay Alive’ seeks to reduce the number of people injured or killed on Grampian’s roads. The stage show running at the Beach Ballroom until Thursday features real-life testimony from emergency services who regularly deal with road accidents as well as from victims of such accidents.
Chair of the Aberdeenshire Community Safety Partnership, Douglas Milne, said: “Safe Drive Stay Alive is primarily targeted at all S5 pupils in Grampian, to make sure that when they get behind the wheel for the first time, they are aware of the responsibility they are taking on and the issues which could affect their safety and that of their passengers.
“This show is not just for youngsters, but delivers a powerful reminder to anybody using our roads about how easy it is to get distracted or make a mistake, and what a devastating impact it can have on the lives of a whole range of people.”