A Birmingham motorcyclist is to advertise on TV, radio and in newspapers in an extraordinary bid to find witnesses to a crash which has left him without sensation in his toes.
Mark Yates, aged 40, was seriously injured minutes from his home at the junction on Broadmeadow Lane, Kings Norton, at 4pm on December 11, 2004, when his bike collided with a car.
The father-of-two says he will no longer be able to work as a builder because the accident took away the senses in his right foot and fractured his hip and pelvis.
An insurance company has told him he must prove he was not at fault to receive compensation because the owner of the car he collided with has denied responsibility for the crash. But to West Midlands Police's surprise, Mr Yates has pledged to spend hundreds of pounds tracing witnesses through adverts in the local media rather than leave the investigation and witness appeal to their officers.
He has already put classified adverts in four newspapers, including The Birmingham Post.
He said: "I am prepared to do absolutely everything it takes to find witnesses to this crash. It has ruined my life. My right leg is now virtually useless, I can't move my right foot, I can't go back to work as a builder and I need to support my wife and children.
"Unless I get this case proven, I stand to lose everything I have ever worked for. I'm not prepared to let that happen.
"I have gone from an athletic man who works out in the gym four times a week after a physically tiring day to someone who struggles to walk after a few hours."
Mr Yates said he was planning to appear on daytime television shows and take an advert out on local television to trace those who saw the crash.
But West Midlands Police, which is leading an investigation and witness appeal into the crash, are bewildered by his attempts.
Clive Bates, an officer at the Traffic Unit at Billesley police station, said: "Mr Yates has done this off his own bat. It is a most unusual step. I would not recommend people in the same circumstances do this. It is the police's duty to investigate these things.
"He did phone and tell me about the adverts. However, if people are witnesses to a crash, we would hope that they spoke to us as soon as possible afterwards. There is, for example, no need to put a classified advert in a newspaper."
* Anyone with information can call police on 0121 626 4187.