The wedding that almost never was: Hit and run groom battles broken back to wed fiance


Ben McEvoy wed fiancee Jodi Simmons yesterday, a week after being mowed down in a hit-and-run accident

The wedding of a hit-and-run victim went ahead in Plymouth yesterday, with the groom bravely battling a broken back to get through the day.

Ben McEvoy, 32, wed partner Jodi Simmons at the China Fleet Golf Club, only six days after he suffered a fractured vertebrae and a fractured sternum when he was knocked down by a car.

Despite doubts as to whether the wedding would go ahead, Mr McEvoy battled through the pain to tie the knot.


Mr McEvoy with his newly-wedded wife, Jodi

He said: “I had to have a lot of tablets and plenty of water but I managed to get through it all.

“During the week it really was touch and go as to whether the wedding would go ahead.

“When I was in hospital I was worrying thanking that it wouldn’t and that maybe it was for the best.

“I was thinking that I wasn’t going to enjoy it, not just because of the pain but all the added stresses on top of that, as well as the fact that I’ve been signed off work for a month too.

“It was all playing on my mind and I was worried that I wouldn’t look happy in my wedding photos.”

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Mr McEvoy was wheelchair-bound for most of last week after a fractured vertebrae and a fractured sternum

Father-of-three Mr McEvoy was found unconscious in the middle of Hirmandale Road at around 4.40am last Sunday after being hit by a car which subsequently drove off.

Despite the fact he sustained life-changing injuries, Mr McEvoy and his new wife enjoyed a small ceremony at the China Fleet Country Club, before having a larger reception party in the evening.

Mr McEvoy did use a wheelchair during the day, but told The Herald that he was happy to stand and speak with guests as well as it took pressure off his back.

“It was easier to do that,” he added. “I was also really keen to sit in chairs too, as opposed to the wheelchair, because I wanted to feel normal.”

To add to the remarkable story, Mr McEvoy revealed that a number of local businesses both in Plymouth and Bristol all helped out to make his wedding day extra special.


Mr McEvoy in hospital shortly after the crash

“A man from a company in Bristol Hair4All came all the way to Plymouth to do my hair after reading about my story which was a nice gesture,” he said.

“It just made me feel great.

“Another company also helped me to get my teeth done by giving me clip in veneers.

“China Fleet were excellent, too.

“They gave us the backdrops and curtains for free, while another company gave us a big love sign and a candy cart for free.

“It was really nice of them.

“It was a brilliant story really, because the lady at China Fleet said that in all of her years doing weddings she never cried, but our was the first time.”

The couple have been together for three-and-a-half years and have a 20-month-old daughter Darcie.

Ben is also Dad to two children from a previous relationship, daughter Kobie aged 11 and son Chase aged five.

Now, they will have a week at home to rest and plan to have their honeymoon in September.

“A great thing about the day is that I can remember it all because I didn’t drink anything,” he joked.

“I’ll rest now and hopefully we can have our honeymoon in September, which might be better for us anyway.”

Following on from the wedding, Mr McEvoy is hopeful that the police will find the man who knocked him down in the car, and appealed to anyone with further information to come forward.


China Fleet Country Club, where the wedding was held

He said: “Before the wedding we were keeping onto them as I didn’t want it to be left.

“But they can only do their job.

“If anyone does now anything, please come forward and contact the police. ”

Police are still appealing for information about the incident. Investigating officer Phil Rooks, of the Serious Collisons Investigations Team, previously said: “We are appealing to the driver of a grey Hackney taxi that picked up a man from the Octagon and dropped them off at Hirmandale Road at around 4am to come forward.

“We are also asking members of the public who may have witnessed a grey coloured taxi in the area at that time to come forward.”