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Dream wedding turns into ‘week from hell’ after car drives into guests

The aftermath of the smash in Crete on the day of the wedding

A couple’s dream wedding in Crete turned into a “week of hell” after a car drove into their wedding convoy en route to the ceremony.

The horror smash described as one that “should have killed someone,” left the groom’s witness and his wife in the hospital.

Leon King, 40, and his new wife Kirsty were about to tie the knot when the car collided with a convoy of best man Dean Fitton, 40, and wife Gemma, 38.

The car accident required both of them to be hospitalized due to various injuries, and Gemma was left with severe back pain.

Dean, who has been Leon’s best buddies for 30 years, yelled at the groom from the ambulance, telling him to go ahead with the ceremony despite everything, as the wedding had previously been canceled due to the pandemic.

And in a strange twist, when Leon returned to his home in Wouldham, Kent, last Tuesday, his car, containing Dean and Gemma’s luggage, inexplicably burst into flames in front of his house overnight.

Leon said: “It’s been a long week of hell.

“We traveled back and forth from the hospital for the week before flying home.

Leon King and Kirsty at their wedding ceremony

Image:

Leon King / SWNS)

The aftermath of the disaster in Crete on the day of the wedding

Image:

Leon King / SWNS)

“The best man and his wife had to take an air ambulance and now she is in Pembury Hospital with a back injury.”

Leon had been at the front of the wedding convoy on Thursday, May 19, when he saw a car approaching on the other side of the road.

He said: “There were five cars going down and we were about eight minutes away from the site.

“A car came at us at high speed and hit the fourth car in the convoy. It hit him and put him on the other side of the road.

“I saw it in my rear-view mirror. I just saw the car swerve in front of me and then the impact.”

Dean Fitton and wife Gemma

Image:

Dean Fitton / SWNS)

Leon King

Image:

Leon King / SWNS)

After turning his car around and driving back to the accident site, Leon found his friend’s car on the side of the road “smashed to pieces”.

He added: “The fire brigade was there, but they were horrific.

“They went first to the other vehicle, where people had walked out. My best man’s wife was just being dragged out of the car.

“Here they would take the roof off and lift them out, but they just dragged them out.”

Despite Dean’s insistence, the wedding went ahead, Leon followed the ambulance to the hospital, where he said the nightmare continued.

He said: “I will never say anything about the NHS again because our medical system is so much better.

“The wedding went on a few hours later when we found out they were stable in the hospital.

“Everyone was still quite emotional. We were concerned about my friend’s wife and her spine. We were all very concerned.

“It has been very stressful. It took its toll on everyone and everyone was stressed.

“We were only just through the wedding ceremony because everyone was very upset and upset.”

Father of four Dean, 40, who lives with Gemma in Snodland, Kent, said the week had started well and the party was optimistic after the previous cancellation.

He said: “It was pushed back because of Covid, so they had a lot of trouble getting to that point. We arrived at the villa and it was perfect.

“We went in convoy to the location, but on the way something went wrong with the vehicle in front – a hubcap came loose and we switched positions.

“In the end I went one step ahead, but I’m glad we did because the car in that position was lighter than ours and it had a 15-month-old child in it.

“I don’t know if they would have survived, and there would have been more injuries because there were more people.

The aftermath of the disaster in Crete on the day of the wedding

Image:

Leon King / SWNS)

“It was a killer crash. It should have killed someone.

“We were traveling on a single carriageway and the convoy was approaching a bend.

“As we turned the corner, I just remember seeing this black car coming towards us.

“He didn’t follow the road into the corner, he just ran into our side of the road, tried to correct it and plowed straight at us.

“If he didn’t correct it, he would have skimmed a car or jumped between two cars. It was a head-on collision with both cars going about 60-70 mph.”

Dean was unable to walk and had to be helped out of the car, but his wife suffered even more serious injuries.

He added: “The car started to smoke and they tried to get us out.

“My wife had broken her wrist and fractured her lower fifth vertebra.

“In the UK she would have been cut out of the car but they got her up and left her on glass.

“We were with people who were first responders and they told them what had to be done.

“They just threw us into an ambulance, which then found every pothole on the island to drive over.

Dean said, “It was a crash killer. It should have killed someone’

Image:

Leon King / SWNS)

“Once we were in the ambulance, I yelled for Leon to get married because he had waited so long.

“But he didn’t – he followed the ambulance to the hospital to check on us first.

“When he realized we were going to make it, he got married and then came back.”

At the hospital, Gemma was terrified and Dean said he could hear her screaming in the next room.

He said, “They pulled on her arm and she begged them to stop. I was in the other room trying to get to her.”

Although Dean’s ankles were very swollen, he was told he could leave, but he was determined to stay with his wife as he was unhappy with the level of care.

He said he grabbed a wheelchair and parked it in front of her room in an effort to get closer to her.

He added: “In Greece they don’t have nurses like us and it is left to the family to provide care.

“The nurses just come in and give pain relief every now and then.

“The daughter of the lady next to us spoke English and helped us translate.

“We found that the woman whose husband caused the crash was in the bed next door, which traumatized my wife more. We ended up having her move.”

With poor hygiene and a lack of dignity for patients on the ward, Dean said he was relieved when his travel insurance company arranged for Gemma to be taken to a private hospital, where the care was “out of this world.”

Although she is recovering in Pembury, it is not yet known when Gemma will be allowed to go home and Dean said she remains mentally scarred by the experience.

Dean said his wife was “traumatized” and didn’t want medics touching her.

He says she also got to a point where she didn’t want to eat or go to the bathroom anymore.

He added: “They estimate the recovery will be around October.”

Despite everything, Dean is determined to see the bright side of events.

He said: “I wouldn’t change it. Leon is my friend of over 30 years and we have been through a lot together.

“We are like brothers. I would go wherever he needed me.

“We were sad it happened to us, but honestly we’re glad it was us and not the other car because there were more people in it.

“We are not bitter because it could have been so much worse.”

Leon was just glad everyone survived when he returned home—only for his car to go up in flames that night.

Neighbors called the fire service when his Audi, which still contained poor Dean and Gemma’s luggage, caught fire around 1 a.m. on Wednesday.

Firefighters say they believe the fire started accidentally in the engine compartment due to a malfunction and Leon is now calling for answers from Audi, which has been approached for comment.

He said: “Fortunately my wife and six-month-old son were not in the car.

“The fact that the car caught fire only made things worse.

“I just can’t see how this all happened in a week.”

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