A holidaymaker has launched legal action against travel firm Jet2holidays after a “15-stone lad” dive-bombed into him as he emerged from a pool slide, leaving him in a neck brace.
Graham Hyde, 44, suffered trauma to muscles in his neck and upper back and was diagnosed with “cervical neck concussion” following the collision at Alegria Pineda Splash Hotel in Barcelona in June.
The business owner from Worcestershire was hours into his wedding anniversary celebrations with his eight-year-old daughter and wife Joanne, who captured the painful moment on her phone from the poolside.
Mr Hyde said: “I saw something massive coming towards me and only realised later that it was a young lad and he literally landed with his backside on my head.
“I heard a massive crunch and can honestly say I thought my neck had snapped.
“The impact had such force, I was rotated 360 degrees underwater.”
Following a struggle to get out of the pool, Mr Hyde went into shock after lifeguards applied a combination of deep heat and ice packs to his neck, which burnt his skin.
Mr Hyde said: “Then the pain really started to take hold and I was shaking like a leaf. I felt sick and my neck was on fire.
“Everything went tight and rigid. I couldn’t lift my arms up and any sort of movement hurt my neck.”
“It was quite scary as my toes and fingers were tingling and I had no real idea of what damage had been done,” he said.
But he added that matters were made “even worse” when the family had to find their own way back to the hotel during a taxi strike, which meant he was “stumbling around in a neck brace in the boiling heat and horrible pain” for at least an hour.
Mr Hyde, who would cycle an average of 10 miles a day before the accident, still experiences pain and stiffness months later, despite undergoing physiotherapy.
Mr Hyde says he has been ignored by the package holiday company ever since.
Magdalena Knez, a specialist personal injury lawyer at Slater and Gordon who is representing the business owner, said: “Although this was an accident and Graham places no blame on the young man involved in the incident, the question is why there appears to have been no signs or barriers in place to section off the area where guests exit the water slide.
“Graham has been left with ongoing neck pain after spending just a few hours on a family holiday and has since been ignored by the holiday company.”
Mr Hyde said: “Our holiday was completely ruined and we have been ignored by the company ever since. It’s not too much to ask for some form of response or apology.”
A spokeswoman for Jet2holidays told the Press Association: “The health and safety of our customers is extremely important to us and we are exploring Mr Hyde’s claim fully.
“Unfortunately, as this is part of an ongoing legal process, we are unable to comment any further at this time.”