A YOUNG man says he's lucky to be alive after he was hit in the head by a gate when a drunk-driver rammed his way out of a locked car park.

Frank Richardson, 21, suffered a fractured skull and bleed to the brain and says staff at Worcestershire Royal Hospital saved his life.

He described the horror crash after drunk driver Benjamin Elvey was given a suspended prison sentence for crashing through the gates outside the Severn Valley Railway in Kidderminster, unintentionally sending them flying into Frank, who was eating a Chinese while waiting for a train at the nearby station.

Frank said: “I was lucky it hit the front of my head. If it hit me anywhere else, it would have finished me.”

Describing the crash, he said: “I could hear a car rev really loud and the next minute I was lying on the floor covered in blood. I can’t remember anything after that.”

Worcester Crown Court heard Elvey, aged 21, had locked himself inside the car park of the Severn Valley Railway in the incident on April 7 last year.

After calling security to unlock the gate, he decided not to wait for them to arrive and instead smashed his car through the barrier, which knocked over Frank as he was standing by the entrance.

The right side of the gate was ripped off as Elvey crashed into it, while the left side swung open and hit Frank on the head.

Frank, from Cutnall Green, near Droitwich, was taken to A&E at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

He said: “I was in and out of consciousness. I didn’t know the severity of my injury.

“I have been in hospital before when I got burnt, so I know why the nurses loiter around before telling you what has happened. I then called my parents as I thought I was going to die.”

Frank was in hospital overnight and was operated on the next morning – his skull was realigned, and his forehead was stitched up.

He added: “The hospital saved my life. Until something happens to you, you don’t know how incredible the NHS is. The staff at the hospital were amazing.

“Luckily, my skull has healed, and all is left is a scar on my head.”

Frank has been having occupational therapy since October, as the accident has left him with short-term memory loss and anger issues.

He said: “It has affected my life. Last year was hard and I have lost so much. I couldn’t drive for six months and I live in the country, so it was so difficult to get on with my life. I couldn’t work or do any of my hobbies.

“I am doing pretty good now, it’s just my anger and forgetfulness which is annoying. It makes things that I want to do more difficult.”

Elvey, from Cheltenham, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm and criminal damage on January 3. The crash happened on April 7 last year, at around 10.30pm, in Station Drive, Kidderminster.

He will be forced to do 275 hours of unpaid work to be completed in 12 months and was given 20 months suspended for two years.

Elvey has been banned from driving for 20 months and fined £200 for drink-driving. He was further ordered to pay £535 towards court costs.

Frank says he wants justice to be served, adding: “I want him to go down for the 20 months. I think it’s good what he got, because if he puts one foot wrong, he is in big trouble and hopefully it’s an eye opener. What on earth he was thinking, I have no idea.”

A spokesman for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said Frank's gratitude was welcomed.

“Our dedicated staff work day in, day out to provide the best possible care to patients, so we’re delighted to hear that the outcome in Mr Richardson’s case has been so positive," the spokesman said.

“We will be sure to share his thanks with the team involved in his care, and wish him well in his recovery.”