Driving school

The man who became a human fireball ‘refused to take the driving test’ because his scars didn’t match his ID

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WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES: Darren Harris, from Middlesbrough, has been dubbed a medical miracle by medics after surviving an electric shock that should have killed him

Darren Harris claims he was discriminated against in his driving theory test because he didn’t match his ID after a serious accident

A man who was left without a nose or ears after being burned in a horrific incident claims he was refused his driving theory test because it ‘didn’t match his ID’ .

Darren Harris, 29, from Middlesbrough, fought for his life in hospital when he was electrocuted by 11,000 volts while on an urban exploration last year.

Unexpectedly, he survived the ordeal but was left “severely disfigured”, without a nose or ears and with scars covering 47% of his body.

But Darren said he was left in tears after facing ‘disgusting discrimination’ when he was told he couldn’t take his theory test because he didn’t look like the picture on his ID card. identity, which was taken before the incident.

Despite passing the test without ‘issues’ twice before, Darren was making a third attempt to pass at the Northallerton B test center when he claims the manager asked him to take his hat off.







Darren was left with serious injuries and significant scarring
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Image:

Darren Harris)








Darren before his accident
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Image:

Darren Harris)


He told the Mirror: “I walked out completely distraught with a big lump in my throat. I was crying my head off.

“He said ‘it’s not my problem, you shouldn’t have changed your appearance, you didn’t change your identification’.

“I said I wasn’t ready to change my ID yet because I’m still coming to terms with my new look but he was really awkward with me.

“I feel like I was discriminated against at the highest level.

“There was even another boy there who tried to help me, he said listen to him, you can see the man is trying, he has his bank card, ID card and proof that he took his test before, why are you denying him’ and the guy says ‘because his face doesn’t match his ID'”.







Darren with his dog Harvey
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Image:

Andy Commins/Daily Mirror)


Ex-scaffolder Darren claims the dispute started at the center when the manager told him to take off his hat for the test.

But since his accident, Darren has used hats to hide his appearance, sometimes even wearing them to bed, and claims he had no problem wearing a hat in his previous two tests.

Darren said: “I sleep with my hat on, I wear my hat all day, even around the house.

“I told him you can’t expect me to be sitting in front of a bunch of strangers with my bare head on display.

“I had major trauma and many burns on my head. He said ‘it’s not my problem mate, you won’t do your test then’.

“I asked him ‘why are you so hard on me’ and showed my old photos.







Darren is still coming to terms with his looks
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Image:

Andy Commins/Daily Mirror)








His arms were completely unrestrained in the accident
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Image:

Darren Harris)


“I said ‘there’s the face I was born with but unfortunately 18 months ago it was stripped from me, can’t you see I’m trying to give it my all to prove who I am’ .

“But he had neither sympathy nor remorse.”

Darren was in a coma for 27 days and underwent 23 surgeries after his arms were completely debrided following his accident in November 2021.

He survived sepsis, multiple organ failure and underwent a craniotomy to relieve pressure on his brain.

But after his release, Darren had a mental battle to overcome and had suicidal thoughts as a result of his new appearance and scars.







Darren before losing his nose and ears
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Image:

Darren Harris)








Darren has been dubbed a medical miracle
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Image:

Darren Harris)


He said: “I don’t like going out at the best of times and I went out, took a train journey to do it and was refused to take the test, I’m absolutely disgusted.”

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency told the Mirror it was investigating the incident.

A spokesperson said: “DVSA will urgently investigate this incident with its theory test provider.

“We always aim to treat all applicants with respect. We apologize for the distress caused and will contact the person to offer a new test.

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