Front Page







World Summary

On Air


Talking Point


Low Graphics


Site Map

Monday, February 9, 1998 Published at 15:50 GMT


Air crash hero wins damages
image: [ 47 people died in the crash ]
47 people died in the crash

A man who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after the Kegworth air disaster in 1989, in which 47 people died, has been awarded 57,000 damages.

A High Court judge said Graham Pearson's life had become a "recurring nightmare" since the tragedy.

[ image: Graham Pearson: wanted some recognition]
Graham Pearson: wanted some recognition
Mr Pearson was driving on the M1 near Kegworth in Leicestershire and was the first person to reach the British Midland jet which crashed while trying to land.

The judge found that since the crash, stress had seriously affected Mr Pearson's personal and professional life.

Graham Pearson describes how the crash affected his life ('2 ''59).
He had suffered feelings of guilt, loss of interest in life and lack of concentration, he lost his job as a kitchen salesman and suffered problems in his marriage. He also had to spend periods in hospital for treatment.

Mr Pearson said: "I feel very relieved. The legal process has taken nine years and every solicitor's letter, every contact with the defendants reminded me of the plane crash."

"It would have been nice to have had some recognition, a letter or something like that, from British Midland for my efforts on that night."

New career

Mr Pearson, who is now re-training for a career in youth and community work, was in the Royal Marines for nine years. He spent two tours of duty in Northern Ireland.

On the night of the crash, he was inside the wreckage of the jet for more than three hours. He helped the emergency services remove casualties and looked after an injured mother and child.

Dr Graham Turnbull, a psychiatrist who worked with the victims affected by the Hungerford shootings and the Lockerbie and Hillsborough disasters, examined Mr Pearson.

He said that the former marine was a strong character who had tried to deny to himself the profound effects the experience had had on him.

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage

Internet Links

Internet Mental Health - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Extracts of the AAIB report into the crash of British Midland B737-400

Fatal events by airline since 1970

British Midland Airways

Post Traumatic Stress Resources on the Web

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online

UK Contents

Northern Ireland