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'The doctor says I'll probably not work again. That's all they say - probably'

AITKEN Hunter, a grandfather-of-two from Blantyre, is among the dozens of people whose lives were turned upside down by the Clutha crash.

Mr Hunter, 61, visited the pub every month for a get-together with friends.

"There can be six, eight, 10 of us who meet there the last Friday of every month. We've done it for eight, maybe 10 years. That night there were eight of us there.

"We normally go in the right-hand door where the band is, but the place was really busy and we couldn't get a position so we moved from the right-hand side of the bar down to the left-hand side, and I do believe everyone on the right hand side walked out."

Among Mr Hunter's group that night was 59-year-old Joe Cusker, who died from his injuries 13 days later. Another friend suffered a broken back.

Mr Hunter, a self-employed blind fitter for 31 years, spent three weeks in hospital being treated for a cracked spine, which has affected his right shoulder and arm and left his right hand "almost wooden".Besides being unable to return to work, the injury has left him unable to pick up his grandsons, aged six months and 11 months, and he admits the process of obtaining compensation has "dragged on".

"They weren't sure if I'd be able to return to work. According to my neurologist I'll probably not work again, and according to my consultant my arm and hand will probably never be back to 100%. But that's all they say - probably.

"That's six months now I haven't worked. I'm getting benefits for the first time in my life, so the difference [in getting compensation] would be everything."

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