Brave responders praised after Newcastle horror car smash

Crash victim thanks brave responders who saved his life after he was pinned against wall in terrifying smash.Crash victim thanks brave responders who saved his life after he was pinned against wall in terrifying smash.
Crash victim thanks brave responders who saved his life after he was pinned against wall in terrifying smash. | -
“I want to thank the firefighters, the paramedics and doctors, and members of the public for helping that night.”

A crash victim has praised the brave responders who saved his life after he was left crushed between a car and a wall.

Nick Matthewson was hit by a car and had his leg pinned against a wall in a terrifying and life-threatening incident this summer.

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The 62-year-old was out with his friends, Keith Allan and retired firefighter Tommy Vaughan, in Newcastle city centre on July 9 when he was seriously injured in the smash at the junction of Pilgrim Street and High Bridge.

His two pals and the Newcastle firefighters who rushed to the scene have now been honoured by the region’s fire chiefs for their heroic efforts.

They were all presented with a meritorious conduct award from the Tyne and Wear Fire Authority at a meeting on Monday morning, the highest commendation the service can give.

Mr Matthewson, from Deckham, said: “It was just a regular Saturday night for us, the car just came out of nowhere into our group on the pavement and I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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“I want to thank the firefighters, the paramedics and doctors, and members of the public for helping that night.

“It was a real team effort to help me and who knows what would have happened if it wasn’t.”

Tyne and Wear’s chief fire officer, Chris Lowther, told councillors and fire service bosses present on Monday how the group’s “swift and decisive action” had been critical in saving Mr Matthewson’s life.

After Mr Vaughan and Mr Allan called for help, fire crews from Newcastle Central and Byker stations arrived in minutes and were able to extricate the casualty and apply an emergency tourniquet to his leg to stop catastrophic bleeding before he was rushed to the RVI to undergo two major operations.

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CFO Lowther added: “This was a very serious collision and, if not for the intervention of those receiving this award today, Nick may not have survived.

“Saving lives is part of what being a firefighter is all about but it still requires those responders to stay calm under pressure to do what needs to be done.

“Those who attended that scene, including those members of the public, did just that. They relied on their training, their expertise and worked quickly when time was of the essence.

“I have spoken personally to Nick and know just how grateful he is to these men for saving his life. To be able to recognise the exceptional actions of these men fills me with pride and I hope it reassures our community here in Tyne and Wear that you are in safe hands.”

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The serving firefighters recognised alongside Mr Vaughan and Mr Allan included watch manager Scott Hardy and Karl Bewick and firefighters Shannon Borg, Michael Walker, Paul Gregson, Mark Cleminson, Daniel Cave and Tomass Olenberg.

Sunderland councillor Phil Tye, who chairs the Fire Authority, said: “The crews involved in this incident showed a huge amount of courage and recognising that with a meritorious conduct award is just a small token of our appreciation.

“But I also want to say a special thank you to those members of the public who did not hesitate to intervene. Their early actions helped to save Nick’s life.”

Gateshead councillor Gary Haley told the firefighters collecting their awards on Monday that the region’s leaders “have confidence every single day” in their courage and life-saving skills.

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