Former Whittington Hospital medical director seriously injured in motorbike crash

Dr Ben Timmis, former medical director of Whittington Hospital, at home following the motorbike acci

Dr Ben Timmis, former medical director of Whittington Hospital, at home following the motorbike accident. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A former director of the Whittington Hospital has been seriously injured in a motorbike crash at one of Hampstead’s most notorious pinch points.

Dr Ben Timmis fell from his bike and was left sprawled across the road after crashing into a car which veered in front of him at about 1.30pm on Wednesday, September 24.

He says the driver was attempting to escape backed-up traffic in Hampstead Lane, which is notorious for large queues as it narrows to a single lane between the historic Spaniards Inn pub and an 18th century tollhouse.

The motorist made a sudden right turn across Dr Timmis in an attempt to exit onto Winnington Road and leave the queue.

“I was in shock – I didn’t know what was happening,” he said.

“The car quickly pulled out and I hit his right wing. I was sprawled across the road with the bike on its side.”

Dr Timmis, of Ringwood Avenue, Muswell Hill, ruptured his Achilles tendon which he says could be a “career-threatening injury”.

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The 63-year-old, who was the Whittington’s first medical director, contacted the Ham&High in the hope of tracing the driver to exchange insurance details.

He said: “I don’t want to make it look like he just roared off, it wasn’t a hit-and-run.

“He pulled over to check if I was okay and I said I was fine.

“It was only after driving to work that I realised I couldn’t walk.”

The consultant radiologist expects to be laid up at least until Christmas before returning to his duties at the Whittington, in Archway, and the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, in St John’s Wood.

He says he is going to face “significant losses” and his “professional future” could be on the line.

He believes the road’s narrow layout contributed to the driver’s sudden move and suggested moving the tollhouse to widen the gap.

Brianna Carse, team leader at the Spaniards, who lives above the pub, called for traffic lights to ease problems.

She said: “It’s quite dangerous there and we do see accidents.

“I feel it would be better if they had traffic lights.

“If they can’t move the tollhouse because it’s historical, traffic lights are the only thing that can make it safer.”

n The driver who collided with Dr Timmis or any witnesses can contact the Ham&High newsdesk on 020 7433 0100.