Richard Hey, 39 from Ripon, stopped to help after he came across the accident on the southbound carriageway of the A1 near to Junction 42. A van had crossed over from the northbound carriageway and landed on its roof on top of a car. The occupants of the van escaped with cuts and bruises and a dislocated shoulder, but the car driver was left more seriously injured.
Richard said: “When I came across the accident, I knew I had to stop and help. I volunteer with Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team so know first aid and other skills which helped. I quickly assessed the condition of the people in both vehicles and realised that the van driver was ok so went to help the car driver. He was complaining of back and leg pain so I decided it was safer to leave him in place rather than try to move him. I supported his neck, in case he had a spinal injury, and talked to him to keep him calm while we waited for the Emergency Services. When they arrived it was obvious he would need to be cut out of his car so I stayed with him whilst this was done to help reassure him.”
The man was released from the car and taken to hospital by Air Ambulance. He suffered a broken pelvis and cuts and bruises.
Chief Superintendent Chris Hardern of West Yorkshire Police praised Richard’s actions: “Richard acted bravely and in a public spirited manner. He clearly used the skills and experience he has to help the injured man and make sure that his injuries didn’t get any worse. He also supported the Emergency Services and even stayed with the man while he was cut out of the car – not many people would have done that and I’m sure it provided great reassurance to the injured man and was a very brave action.”
Richard’s commendation is in recognition of the decisive action taken at the scene of a road traffic collision to administer first aid and remain with the driver of a vehicle until being cut free from the wreckage.
On receiving the award, Richard said: “I’m delighted with the commendation. I just did what needed to be done. It’s amazing, the training takes over and you just go through the protocols. It was a great team effort – there were a huge number of professionals involved as well.”