A COUPLE’S dream holiday to Las Vegas turned into a nightmare after a bike crash left them both seriously injured.
Brian and Ann Lewis, from Sunderland, travelled to the USA and hired a Harley Davidson as part of a three-week break to mark Brian’s retirement as a sheet metal worker for a Seaham firm and his 65th birthday.
He and Ann, 60, who works at the Post Office in Sunderland city centre, were in Las Vegas in the middle of a 3,000-mile trip to the Sturgis Bike Rally in Kentucky.
The couple’s bike smashed into a truck at a crossroads the day after they arrived – on Saturday, July 26 –and left Mr Lewis sedated and on a life support machine and sedated, and his wife with two broken legs.
Mr Lewis, who also ended up with a fractured bone in his face, is now conscious and talking, while his wife has had surgery on her thigh bones.
Their sons Mark, 44, and Christian, 39, and other family members travelled to be by their side within a day of hearing about the collision.
They continue to be treated at the University Medical Center (UMC) of Southern Nevada and are said to be in “good spirits.”
Christian said: “My dad has been off life support since Monday and he’s been talking.
“After having a tube in him for nine days, he’s very fragile and he’s talking a bit, but his voice is very croakey.
“When it happened I had a telephone call from the hospital overnight and got the voicemail when I woke up on the Sunday - we were sat next to them that afternoon.
“We would like to say that the UMC’s doctors, surgeons and staff have done a fantastic job and been great at supporting us.”
Alan Burnikell, who has been a friend of the couple for around 40 years, said: “I was devastated when I heard and I’m still upset now.
“The three of us have gone around watching bands for a few years. They’re great friends.”
Neighbours of the couple, who have lived in Plane Tree Court in Doxford Park for around five years, also wished the couple well.
The 29-year-old man who was driving the Chevrolet ruck that the couple’s bike collided with was not injured.
The collision remains under investigation by Las Vegas police.
A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We are aware of the hospitalisation of two British nationals in Las Vegas.
“We are providing consular assistance.”