A student who survived multiple serious injuries after being knocked down by a drink-driver is planning a career in politics to campaign for tougher sentencing after finally achieving his A levels.
Luke Mason was forced to hold back a year from taking his exams after he and a friend, Matthew Lockwood, were mown down as they left a nightclub in Middlesbrough in October 2017 where they had celebrated Luke turning 18.
Luke, a student at The King’s Academy, in Coulby Newham, suffered a fractured spine, a broken collarbone, pelvis, arm and ribs, a collapsed lung and a severe wound to the back of his head.
He was put into a medically-induced coma and was in hospital for ten weeks, off school for three months and is still undergoing physiotherapy.
Now the 19-year-old has celebrated achieving three A grades in politics, history and religious studies, and a B in economics and will take up a place at York University to study philosophy, politics and economics.
“I was very nervous about the results even though I felt pretty good about my exams, and now I’m just relieved,” he said.
“I should have taken my A levels last summer but being knocked over smashed that to pieces. There was no chance I could have learned everything I needed to and sat four A levels then. Even after I got back to college I was on painkillers, couldn’t move my arm properly and was having intensive physiotherapy, that I’m still having now.”
Luke even had to undergo a further operation in January this year as he prepared for his A levels.
“It’s been a very delicate balance and a constant struggle trying to recover and work towards my exams. I’ve got through it with the help of my parents, the staff at The King’s Academy and a lot of determination.
“I think what happened actually made me even more determined. I did very well in my AS levels and even took good grades for granted before. Now I really understand what it takes to do well when it isn’t so easy. I’ve really had to put in a lot of effort.”
David Dawes, principal of The King’s Academy, paid tribute to Luke’s fortitude and strength of character.
“Luke was always an extraordinarily able student but given what happened to him, the life-threatening situation he was in and the challenges he faced we were very concerned, even after he came back to school, that he would struggle.
“However, he has shown immense courage and determination and hasn’t allowed it to interfere with his academic success. He has done tremendously well and we wish him all the very best with the interesting course he has chosen and for his future.”
The driver who ran the boys over, 40-year-old Hadi Hamid, who was over the drink drive limited and already disqualified from driving, pleaded guilty to two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was sentenced to four years in prison.
The boys later released pictures taken immediately after the accident showing their horrific injuries and Luke has campaigned for tougher sentences for dangerous drivers.
He collected thousands of signatures for a petition which he sent last year to then Home Secretary Amber Rudd, saying: “The current sentences offenders receive are wholly inadequate and let countless victims and their families down every day.”
After collecting his results at The King’s Academy, Luke said: “I’d always wanted to go into politics and now I feel I really need to. You have got to be the change you want to see.
“The sentences for drink driving and dangerous driving are very lenient and need to be looked at. I hope I can come through university with a first class degree then will maybe do a masters before aiming for my goal of becoming a Member of Parliament.”