YOUNG mechanic Michael Burfitt has been presented with an award to mark his comeback after a road crash that nearly claimed his life.
Michael, of Stalbridge, was in a coma for three weeks after a collision in August 2011.
He was 18 and half way through his apprenticeship with Guy's Auto Engineers at Marnhull when his car was in collision with a steam engine near Henstridge.
The impact left him with a brain injury that meant he had to learn how to speak again.
But he managed to resume his apprenticeship and return to Paragon Training at Yeovil.
And his achievement earned him a trophy, presented by Paragon, proclaiming him an apprentice of the year 2012.
His mother, Lyn Burfitt, said: "I am so proud of Michael.
"Getting this trophy was absolutely fantastic because it shows how much he has achieved since the accident.
"He grew up in Stalbridge and so many people knew he had had this terrible accident.
"It's lovely to be able to tell them how well he's doing.
"It's a long process and he's still not fully recovered but he has made huge progress."
She paid tribute to garage owners Richard Guy, who enabled Michael to have time off and get back to work as he recovered.
Michael, now 21, was airlifted to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester after the accident and then transferred to Southampton where he was put into an induced coma for three weeks.
Mrs Burfitt said: "We had to teach him to speak again after he woke up but he made progress every day.
"It has affected his short-term memory but his progress is ongoing.
"I hope it encourages other people that there can be recovery from brain injuries - it helped that Michael was young and fit."
Mr Guy said: "The accident set Michael back a year in his apprenticeship.
"The trophy was awarded because he's done well in the circumstances and it marks what he has achieved."