Schoolgirl is awarded £23m after fatal crash

First published in News

COTSWOLD villagers say they are delighted for a “brave” Naunton teenager left paralysed in a car accident after she was awarded a record compensation payout of £23 million.

Agnes Collier, aged 17, was left with no use of her legs and little function in her arms after the crash on the A436 at Andoversford in March 2009 that killed her mother Karen Hood and also injured her brother Rufus.

Joan Mitchell, who is a member of the Naunton social committee and WI in the village where the Collier family live, said they were a “lovely family”.

“They are incredibly brave.

It was a tragic accident. She is so strong,” she said.

Naunton Parish Council chairman David Hallsworth said: “I am delighted for her.

She is a very brave girl. It is a tragedy what happened to her. She is very bright and we we wish her well.”

Despite her injuries, Agnes returned to her studies at Cheltenham Ladies College and battled overwhelming tiredness and the need to use a scribe to complete her AS Levels.

Agnes’s counsel, William Norris QC, told Mr Justice MacDuff, she had been offered a place at university.

After the hearing, the family’s solicitor, Paul Paxton, of Stewarts Law, said: “While it is a lot of money, Agnes’s needs are great and will be for the rest of her life. The family want to be able to move on with their lives now this chapter has closed.”

The teenager will receive a lump sum of £7.25m plus annual payments of £270,000.

Agnes’s father, investment banker Dominic Collier, and stepmother Jannene, were at London’s High Court for the approval of the damages award against the insurers of motorist Anthony Norton, who caused the accident when he pulled out of a side road, causing Ms Hood to be hit by an oncoming lorry.

In November 2009, Norton, of Hazleton, Andoversford, pleaded guilty to causing death by driving without due care and attention and was sentenced to six months’ jail, suspended for a year, banned from driving for 18 months and ordered to do 300 hours’ unpaid community work.

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