Rescuer ran from family funeral to help Middleton crash victims

Emergency services at the scene of a RTC on the A47 at Middleton, between a lorry and a car. ANL-140417-173414001
Emergency services at the scene of a RTC on the A47 at Middleton, between a lorry and a car. ANL-140417-173414001
Have your say

A woman ran from her grandfather’s wake to rescue the occupants of a car moments after it ploughed into a wall.

Caroline Prince did not think twice about helping the man trapped in the blue car as oil dripped from the engine following the collision on the A47 at Middleton.

Ms Prince dashed with uncle Brian Page from a funeral party for her grandfather, Peter Ewing, at The Crown moments after the car and a lorry collided close to a bend at 1.50pm on Thursday.

A man and woman, who were travelling in the car, were injured in the crash, which has prompted fresh calls for action to be taken on the A47 from communities living alongside the road.

Ms Prince, who lives in Worcester, spoke to the man and held his head until a doctor who lives in the village arrived to take over.

She said: “If someone is in trouble you try to help them.

“The woman was out of the car and the man was trapped so I got in the back and tried to hold his head still. I talked to him to keep him conscious.

“You see it on the telly so I thought I ought to do that.”

Her uncle, who lives in Lynn, said oil was dripping from the engine and the front wheel had been detached from the car.

He said: “The medical and fire crews did a brilliant job.”

Middleton Parish Council has been fighting for almost a decade to have safety measures introduced to the road.

Middleton has a 40mph speed limit which does not cover the whole village. Councillors would like to see this extended and reduced to 30mph.

But members have been told by the Highways Agency that the road does not meet the criteria, which is based on the number of collisions with injuries.

Chairman Mark Fuller said the main problem seen in the village is drivers flouting the speed limit.

He said: “We have been in regular contact with the Highways Agency for at least 10 years to get some of these issues addressed, particularly the speed of traffic through the village.

“The speed limit is 40mph but a lot of the time people are coming through at 44mph or 45mph. If something does happen then and they are travelling at 45mph then they have a lot less time to respond.

“The time has come for some action to be taken on the whole stretch of road from Hardwick roundabout to East Winch.”

Dyanne Replogle had to camp out at The Crown for some time on Thursday afternoon as she was unable to get to her home in West Hill Barns, Middleton.

She said: “There have been at least three occasions in the last 12 months that I haven’t been able to get home.

“People just seem to speed up before they get to the corner. I would appeal to drivers to respect the speed limit.”

Ian Page, who is a chef at The Crown, is supporting calls for drivers to slow down after regularly seeing cars speeding.

He said: “If you are going through a village you do the speed limit.”

Middleton resident Don Taylor asked: “How many more accidents on the Middleton stretch of the A47 before something is done?”

East Winch Parish Council is also fighting to have their 50mph speed limit dropped.

That village has seen more than its fair share of tragedy as Jeffrey Hain, 66, his wife, Marion, 69, and their son Christopher, 36, from Lancashire, were killed in March after their Kia Cee’d was involved in a collision with a lorry.

The parish council will soon be sending a questionnaire around its residents to see what improvements should be made.

Chairman Nell Steele has been told that the police would not support a bid to reduce the speed limit and is writing to police and crime commissioner Stephen Bett to ask him to reconsider that position. The letter is also going to West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham and the A47 Alliance.

She said: “The national transport system is putting cars and the movement of vehicles ahead of the importance of the lives of people who live alongside the road.

“One death is far too many. I think it is a shame we have to wait for a death until people start listening the local residents.

“I would encourage more people to write to Mr Bett to support a lower speed limit.”

Mr Bellingham has taken the fight for improvements to the Government.

He said: “I am pushing for schemes in East Winch and Middleton.”

The air ambulance and six fire engines were called to Lynn Road, Middleton, on Thursday afternoon when the lorry and blue car were involved in the collision.

Paramedic Officer, Terry Hicks who attended the scene said: “It was a tricky extrication and the man suffered injuries to his shoulder, arm and pelvis but he was quite lucky as they weren’t as serious as we first thought.

“We also treated a woman for what could be a serious pelvic injury. Both were conveyed by land to Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital for further treatment.”

Police closed the road around Middleton, which created traffic disruption.

Villages such as Fair Green saw a rise in traffic and Lynn town centre was also gridlocked as motorists tried to find another route.

Police are now investigating the causes of the crash.