By Sam Whyte
A TEENAGER is fighting for his life after being in a horrific car crash – just a week after passing his driving test.
Scott Meikle, of Larkhall, is in an induced coma at a high dependency unit at Wishaw General Hospital, North Lanarkshire.
The 18-year-old, who suffered serious chest injuries, is said to be critical but stable.
The 28-year-old driver of the Mondeo and all four passengers – two men aged 26 and 38 and two girls aged eight and 12 – were taken to Hairmyres Hospital, South Lanarkshire.
It is understood that Scott took the worst of the impact but all six people involved in the two-car smash were taken to hospital – although they have all been treated for minor injuries and are otherwise fine.
Scott’s dad Stuart, mum Angela, two sisters, and his girlfriend Nicole have been left devastated by the accident.
Speaking from the family home in Pentland Crescent, Larkhall, Stuart said: “Scott is critical but stable. We don’t want to say anything more just now.”
The apprentice manufacturer at Auto Doors only just bought the 59-plate Vauxhall Corsa after passing his driving test but collided with a green Ford Mondeo last Friday.
An Auto Windows colleague, Alex Burns, 19, said he was shocked by the crash and wished Scott a speedy recovery.
He said: “I stopped the job and when we got to Bothwell Road we thought that Scott was dead.
“The first night we were praying for him – Scott has just passed his driving test and was over the moon as he had failed his previous test.
“He just bought the car. We just want our best mate back.”
The former Larkhall Academy pupil had just left his work, Auto Doors, based in Bothwell Road Industrial Estate, when the accident occurred.
It’s believed he was pulling out the industrial estate when the smash occurred on the busy road last Friday about 4.05pm.
It is thought Scott was attempting to turn right on Bothwell Road when his vehicle collided with the Mondeo travelling northbound towards Bothwell.
A commuting nurse was one of the first on the scene and helped Scott who was slumped over his steering wheel.
Emergency services raced to the scene and cut the trapped teen from his mangled car by slicing open the vehicle’s roof.
Firefighters also had to cut free the driver of the Mondeo.
The driver and four passengers of the Mondeo were treated for minor injuries but have been released from hospital.
A Strathclyde Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said: “Two people were trapped in the cars and firefighters used hydraulic cutting equipment to free them.”
A Strathclyde Police spokeswoman said enquiries into the accident were ongoing.
Scott’s condition came to light as the Association of British Insurers said 17-24 are responsible for a disproportionately high number of crashes, deaths and claims.
The ABI also said an 18-year-old was more than three times as likely to be involved in a crash compared to a 48-year-old.
ABI director general Otto Thorensen said: “Radical action is needed to reduce the tragic waste of young lives on our roads, especially among the 17 to 24 age group.
“A car is potentially a lethal weapon, and we must do more to help young drivers better deal with the dangers of driving. Improving the safety of young drivers will also mean that they will face lower motor insurance costs.”
The ABI would like a ban on learners being able to take an intensive driving course as their only method of passing as well as a new “graduated” licence for the first six months after passing a test.
During this time new drivers would be banned from driving between 11:00pm and 4:00am for the first six months, unless they were driving to and from work or college.
Other suggestions include no blood alcohol allowed during the first six months and a limit on the number of passengers they can carry.
But they suggest young drivers could start learning earlier, at the age of 16 and a half.