Lincolnshire Echo photographer Anna Draper has been named Photographer of the Year in the Regional Press Awards hosted by the Society of Editors.
One of her entries was the heart-rending photo of Ryan Smith.
The 16-year-old cyclist was in a coma for several weeks after he was involved in a crash with a van last July while cycling to work near Chapel St Leonards.
The picture, in which dad Mark Smith embraces his stricken son, was used in the national press after it first appeared in the Echo.
It was subsequently picked up and used for a campaign to promote the use of cycle helmets.
The judges' citation said: "Skilled at capturing expression and emotion, joy and sadness and that fleeting moment in time, Draper is also able to see the everyday in an imaginative and unusual way.
"The moving photograph of a grieving father caught the moment but was not intrusive."
Accepting her award at a ceremony in London, she said: "I am really honoured to win this but would really like to say thank you to the families of people that let us in.
"I took a photo of Ryan, who was in a coma and the family didn't know what was going to happen to him.
"The family was brave enough to let people like us take photographs and tell their stories."