Bus firm pays out to student over horrific crash injuries

Dongmin Yan was trapped under the bus after being knocked off her bike
Dongmin Yan was trapped under the bus after being knocked off her bike
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A STUDENT who sued Lothian Buses for £500,000 after being dragged under the wheels of a double-decker while cycling has won her legal fight for damages.

Dongmin Yan spent six months in hospital recovering from the horrific crash in Ferry Road when her bike was struck by the number 21 bus at a busy Crewe Toll roundabout.

The 38-year-old suffered a broken pelvis, arm and collarbone in the accident,

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as well as multiple rib fractures, and needed skin grafts and surgery to stomach wounds.

The Chinese Edinburgh University student contracted MRSA and a case of deep vein thrombosis while in hospital, and needed two months before she could walk with a frame.

Ms Yan, who has suffered nightmares and anxiety since the accident, was also forced to abandon plans to study in the United States.

She sued the bus firm at the Court of Session in Edinburgh for £500,000 in damages, alleging negligence by the bus driver, Alastair Dempster.

Lothian Buses has now settled with Ms Yan for an undisclosed sum.

Ms Yan, who lives in Gorgie, had been cycling east along Ferry Road at 9am on November 26, 2008.

Her lawyers told the court that the bus was stationary at the roundabout at Crewe Road when she moved off after a gap appeared in the traffic. She was then struck from behind by the double-decker.

Ms Yan was dragged underneath the bus, and was only freed by firefighters using airbags and specialist stabilising equipment before being rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Lawyers for Lothian Buses told the court that Ms Yan had “moved up the inside in very close proximity to the nearside of the bus” at the roundabout. When the driver went on to the roundabout, he said Ms Yan “appeared to lose control” and her bike moved in front of the bus and she was hit.

As well as broken bones, both of Ms Yan’s lungs collapsed and she remained in intensive care for nearly two weeks.

After undergoing surgery to her stomach and badly cut hand, surgeons grafted skin from her thigh to the abdominal wounds but that injury later developed an MRSA infection.

She was able to walk with a Zimmer frame in January 2009 and was finally released from hospital at the end of April, but still suffers from residual pain. Ms Yan was left with severe scarring and further skin grafts and surgery will be carried out by doctors treating her.

During her stay in intensive care, her lawyers said she was “confused, disorientated and suffered hallucinations”.

Ms Yan had been studying Chinese cultural studies at Edinburgh University, with plans to take a teaching degree at Moray House the following year.

But Ms Yan, who wanted to teach Chinese in the UK before moving to the US to teach, was forced to abandon the plans in the wake of the crash. Her lawyers added that she had been left unable to afford to continue in further education.

Digby Brown, the firm represented Ms Yan was unable to comment on the case. Ms Yan could not be reached for comment.

Ian Craig, managing director of Lothian Buses said: “It is a policy not to comment on individual court cases.”