Leeds man's car crash ordeal

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A Leeds man who cheated death in an horrific car accident is re-building his life and has embarked on a new start as a university student.

Max Muteliso, who lives in Alwoodley, suffered a skull fracture and severe internal bleeding to his brain after the vehicle he was travelling in somersaulted off the motorway at 100mph in November 2002.

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The 29-year-old was a back seat passenger in the car when the driver lost control on the M1 near the Snapethorpe footbridge, causing it to leave the carriageway and roll over a number of times.

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The car spun at such a velocity that Max was thrown out of the vehicle.

Emergency services staff had to search for him by the side of the road.

His head injuries left him largely wheelchair-dependent and he has weakness down one side of his body.

He also has some visual impairment and has been left with problems with memory, concentration and fatigue.

But eight years after the accident, Max acknowledges he is just lucky to be alive.

He said: "After the accident I couldn't work, and it was almost impossible to get about even within my own home."

Now, however, he is in the first year of a Geography degree at Leeds Metropolitan University.

After his accident, Max was taken to the neurosurgical unit at Leeds General Infirmary. There he underwent surgery for his catastrophic head injuries, which included a skull fracture and a pooling of blood on the brain.

However, serious injury experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell negotiated a settlement package with insurers for Max to help with his case management, input from a support worker and rehabilitation. The care package will help pay for a specially adapted bungalow and his lifetime care costs.

Jane Horton, head of the serious injury team at law firm Irwin Mitchell

in Leeds, told the YEP: "Max's injuries were horrific, and he needed specialist care and rehabilitation facilities to make any sort of


"We have been working to help Max secure funds to help him rebuild his life and help provide him with support he needs for the rest of his life to ensure he has a better quality of life."

Max added: "I'm actively involved in the Leeds branch of Headway, the brain injury charity, and hopefully I can help others, who are not as far down the rehabilitation process as I am, to come to terms with their injuries.

"For the first time in a while I feel that I really could have an active career in the future."