Driver dies after head-on crash

A DRIVER terribly injured in a head-on road smash which left his car hanging over the edge of a deep road-side ditch died despite desperate attempts to save him.

By James Mortlock

A DRIVER terribly injured in a head-on road smash which left his car hanging over the edge of a deep road-side ditch died despite desperate attempts to save him.

The 32-year, who had last night not been named by police, was airlifted to hospital by a search and rescue helicopter from RAF Wattisham after 20 firefighters worked for around an hour to free him from the wreckage of his car following yesterday's early-morning accident near Mildenhall.

Paramedics worked through the flight to resuscitate the victim but he was pronounced dead on arrival at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.


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Flight Lieutenant Duncan Clarke, of RAF Wattisham, said it took around 10 minutes to fly the driver to the airfield close to Addenbrooke's.

He said everything had been done to save the driver. "The crew was very sad to learn of his death. We do our best – sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Hopefully next time we will have a better result."

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Fireman Pat Dacey, one of the officers who led the operation to free the victim – who was trapped in his silver Hyundai – said the rescue bid was hampered by the car's position at the edge of the ditch.

Assistant Divisional Officer Dacey said the car had to be winched to safety before the crews – two from Suffolk and two from Cambridgeshire – could begin to cut the driver from his car.

"It was in a fairly precarious position next to a deep ditch – it was around 10ft deep and had water in the bottom. The car was at an angle of 45 degrees and half in and half out of the ditch.

"We had to stabilise the car and prevent it from moving any further towards the bottom of the dyke before we could start to get at the driver. Once we had the car safe we were able to get the driver out fairly quickly working with paramedics and a doctor," he said.

Mr Dacey said the crews were sad their work had not saved the driver: "It's very sad for everyone involved in the rescue because we were successful in getting him out in very difficult circumstances."

Police are now appealing for anyone with information about the accident, which happened just after 7am on the A1101 near Sedge Fen, to come forward.

The driver of the green Land Rover Discovery also involved in the collision is not believed to have been seriously hurt.

A police spokesman urged any witnesses, particularly the driver of a red Saab seen in the area at the time but not involved in the accident itself, to contact Pc Nick Starling on 01284 774224.

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