Doncaster holiday smash couple stranded in Vietnam due to fly back home

A desperate Doncaster couple stranded 6,000 miles from home after a horrific holiday road accident are due to arrive back in the UK in the next few days.

Wednesday, 2nd March 2016, 8:37 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd March 2016, 8:41 am
Sarah Liddle and Rhys Sykes.

British backpackers Rhys Sykes and Sarah Liddle were marooned in Vietnam following a motorbike smash in the country which left Sarah with a badly broken leg and unable to fly back home.

Now the young couple are set to arrive home after pleading for help to fly back to the United Kingdom for urgent medical treatment.

The couple launched a cash appeal after being told a special evacuation flight would cost £15,000 but Rhys is due to arrive back today while Sarah is due home in the next few days after she was cleared to fly with a nurse escorting back to the UK on scheduled charter flights.

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He said: "Because mine and Sarah's Vietnam visa ran out on the 1st and I had no medical reason keeping me in Vietnam, it means we've had to split up which obviously neither of us were happy about.

"I've had to fly out and leave her there on her own until she is ready to fly out in a couple of days. A nurse from the company we are using to get Sarah home has flown out from Heathrow to meet Sarah in Ho Chi Minh and then escort her home on her flight."

Tragedy struck for the couple, both former Hungerhill School pupils, on Valentine’s Day when the hired motorbike they were travelling on through the Far East country was smashed into by another motorcycle.

Rhys said: “We were travelling on a moped down a country road when we saw a coach coming the other way.

“We moved over to give room as the road was narrow but all of a sudden another moped came speeding out from behind the coach and hit us head on at speed.”

Sarah, 23, of Dunsville and Rhys, 24, of Hatfield, were hurled from the bike and onto the side of the road, with both suffering serious injuries.

Sarah suffered three separate breaks to her left leg and was left with blood pouring from an open wound while Rhys suffered a broken foot, broken fingers and seriously grazed arms.

The couple were part way through a backpacking trip around Asia and Australasia, having setting off from the UK shortly before Christmas and having already visited Thailand and Laos before crossing the border into Vietnam where tragedy struck. The couple were due to celebrate their first anniversary on February 15 - the day after the accident.

The couple then became locked in a battle of red tape and legal minefields with their travel insurers over the validity of their policy as well as airlines, medical institutions, and the British and Vietnamese authorities

He said: “Our biggest complaint is with Vietnamese services for how they have dealt with it afterwards, basically doing nothing and leaving us to pick up the pieces. We also feel very let down by our embassy and consulate both here in Vietnam and at home in London, offering little to no help with advice either emotionally, medically or financially.”

A crowdfunding site to help the couple raise the cash drew in more than £2,000.