Patient: Broughton ambulance crash could have killed me

Reporter:

Andrew Boyd

A PATIENT believes he and the paramedic treating him could have been killed when an ambulance crashed into a bridge in Broughton.

Peter Davies says he somersaulted in the back of the vehicle taking him to hospital after it crashed into the low bridge on Broughton Hall Road, Broughton.

He had fallen ill at home on Christmas Day with angina and chest pains. His back was then injured in the crash and he stayed overnight in the Countess of Chester Hospital.

Mr Davies, an operations manager at the Odeon Cinema in Eagles Meadow, Wrexham, watched in shock as the male paramedic caring for him in the ambulance was injured and landed on top of him.

He has previously made calls for new safety measures to help alert road users to how low the bridge is, fearing a fatal collision could take place.

“Even though I was injured I consider myself lucky,” said Mr Davies, 65, of Copper Beech Close, Broughton. “I fear either I or the paramedic could have been killed.
“I was catapulted off the stretcher, hurting my back. I couldn’t tell what had happened at first.

“The paramedic was not as fortunate as me and my main concern was for him. He ended up on top of me.”

Mr Davies believes the current warning signs at the bridge are not easily visible for drivers of larger vehicles.

He has described the site as being “notoriously dangerous” and is pleading for those responsible for it to take action.

He said: “I really fear somebody is going to be killed there.

“I am very concerned there is going to be a really serious accident and this could have been the case when the ambulance crashed.

“I have previously brought this up with the police and Flintshire Council but have not got anywhere.

“I have seen collisions there before involving larger vehicles, it is concerning.
“I do not blame the ambulance driver because if you do not know the area it is not easy to know about the bridge.”

He added: “The cheap and foolproof solution would be to put swinging gantry bars before the bridge, similar to what you get at car park entrances.”

Mr Davies estimates the height of the bridge at just under 8ft, making it difficult or impossible for larger vehicles to travel through.

Cutting equipment was required to help free the paramedic, with fire crews from Deeside and Buckley attending.

Mr Davies said windows had to be smashed to give emergency services access.
The paramedic received shoulder, leg and facial abrasions and was taken to Wrexham Maelor Hospital for treatment.

The other member of staff in the ambulance was not injured.

A spokesman for Flintshire Council said signs are in place on the road to alert motorists to the bridge.

He added: “This bridge is the responsibility of the Welsh Government, through their agents, the North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agency, as the bridge carries the spur of the A55 on this section of road up to the Broughton roundabout.”

Police spokesman Michael McGivern said: “Decisions on placing and changing road signs are made by the Welsh Government. There may be input from the local council’s highways department and police may be part of any consultation.”

A spokesman for the Welsh Government said it would not comment until it had seen a police report.

See full story in the Leader

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