Worker crushed by six-ton steel girder is back on his feet

Mark Priestley was in a wheelchair after he was crushed in in a work-place accident at Elland Steel. He is making progress now and walking on crutches.
Mark Priestley was in a wheelchair after he was crushed in in a work-place accident at Elland Steel. He is making progress now and walking on crutches.

Months after a horrifying accident at work left him wheelchair-bound, Mark Priestley is back home and fighting to walk again. A six-ton steel girder crashed down on the 34-year-old while he was at Elland Steel Structures, Gibbet Street, in January.

His spine was broken in three places and his spinal cord was crushed. He also suffered broken ribs.

Mark Priestley was in a wheelchair after he was crushed in in a work-place accident at Elland Steel. He is making progress now and walking on crutches.'Pictured with his wife Stacey and son Lenny, three-years-old

Mark Priestley was in a wheelchair after he was crushed in in a work-place accident at Elland Steel. He is making progress now and walking on crutches.'Pictured with his wife Stacey and son Lenny, three-years-old

The severity of his back injury left him in hospital for months.

But thanks to his determination and a huge amount of support from his family and friends, he was allowed home to Claremount in Halifax in July and is now out of his wheelchair and able to walk on crutches.

“I can make about 20 metres at a time,” he said.

“I’m doing physio and doing a lot better.

“It’s brilliant being home with my family.”

Mark is married to Stacey and the couple have a three-year-old son, Lenny.

He said the help they have had from other relatives and friends has been overwhelming.

Scores of people have attended fund raisers to help him, including an evening of entertainment organised at King Cross Working Men’s Club where 120 people turned up to show their support.

Staff from Barclays Bank in King Cross helped the committee at the club organise the event which included music from The McCarrons, Mick Brown of Psycho Slinkys and James Smith from Obscurity Knocks, followed by a disco and raffle.

The money raised from the night brings the club’s fund raising to almost £3,000 since last March, which will be split between Mark and MacMillan Nurses.

Mark said he and Stacey want to twhank everyone who has helped them, including Dave and Alison at King Cross Workign Men’s Club who organised the event.

“We want to say thank you to everyone for their support,” he said. “It’s taken us by complete surprise. The amount of support we’ve had has just been fantastic.”