‘I TRIED AS HARD AS I COULD’: Driver’s ef­forts to save man who fell

Driver who went to help says ev­ery­one bat­tled to save vic­tim

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Kather­ine Clemen­tine kather­ine.clemen­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A DRIVER who stopped to help a man who fell from a bridge over the A40 in Hilling­don, spoke of his sad­ness af­ter stay­ing with the vic­tim un­til he passed away.

Richard Ste­ward, 36, a full-time carer, was tak­ing his 14-year-old son to police cadets in Uxbridge when the tragedy hap­pened.

He was driv­ing west­bound, from his home in Eastcote, to­wards the bridge near Long Lane, Hilling­don, when he wit­nessed the man fall off the bridge and hit the ground.

Mr Ste­ward pulled onto the kerb un­der­neath the bridge and straight away went to at­tend to the man, whilst an­other mo­torist di­alled 999.

He said: “We got out of the car and the man was in a very stress­ful way.

“We car­ried on try­ing to speak to him, me and this other gen­tle­man and my son.

“All of a sud­den he started to go into shock and stopped breath­ing.”

Lon­don Am­bu­lance Ser­vice (LAS) were called to re­ports of an in­ci­dent on the A40, at the Long Lane junc­tion of West­ern Av­enue, on Thurs­day March 17.

He con­tin­ued: “The other per­son that stopped got on the phone to the am­bu­lance while I was down with the gen­tle­man and my son.

“We were mak­ing sure that he was OK be­fore­hand but later he went into a fit and stopped breath­ing, so we did CPR and an­other gen­tle­man joined us af­ter that, who was a qual­i­fied first aider, who then took over. I think from the time that we got there un­til the police be­ing there, was about 10 min­utes.

“I couldn’t give an ex­act time – I was too in­ter­ested in try­ing to save this poor gen­tle­man who’d just come off of a bridge.”

Mr Ste­wart was not told the man’s name by emer­gency ser­vices, but de­scribed him as a white male, medium build, with black hair, aged in his early 30s.

He was wear­ing work clothes which were blue trousers, a shirt and work boots.

Mr Ste­ward and his son, Dy­lan, have been suf­fer­ing from shock since the in­ci­dent.

He went back to the scene to see if any flow­ers were lain and now feels ‘very ner­vous’ when­ever he drives un­der a bridge.

He said: “The next day was dif­fi­cult for me and my son. My son is a qual­i­fied police cadet and he’s only 14 years old – he was very quiet.

“I was very sick the next day as just the thought of it kept run­ning through my mind.

“We’re go­ing to seek coun­selling for it from our doc­tor to try to get over this – but it’s very hard, I don’t know any­thing about this gen­tle­man, or whether he had fam­ily.”

Mr Ste­ward would like to speak to the man’s fam­ily if he was given the chance.

“It’s for my peace of mind too – I’d like to tell them I tried as much as I could. I felt help­less. There was no way they could save him.

“They sent quite a lot of peo­ple there; air am­bu­lance, trauma team, so many peo­ple and they worked for so long, more than I ac­tu­ally thought that they would.

“They all worked as a very good team. Un­for­tu­nately it just wasn’t that man’s time.”

Mr Ste­ward has ba­sic first aid train­ing from the Prince’s Trust and as­sisted the emer­gency ser­vices by hold­ing up a light for them.

He’s hope­ful that a mem­ber of the man’s fam­ily will come for­ward and speak to him.

He added: “I would like the fam­ily to know I tried as hard I could and I know that I’d like to say to them that the am­bu­lance ser­vice were with him a long time and they worked so hard.

“I’d send flow­ers just to let them know they’re not by them­selves – it’s hit me and my son hard, but I just did what any other per­son would have done if they came across that.”

A Metropoli­tan Police spokesper­son con­firmed that the death is not sus­pi­cious and that of­fi­cers are in the process of in­form­ing next of kin.

I’d send flow­ers to let them know they’re not by them­selves”

n AT THE SCENE: Richard Ste­ward and his son Dy­lan stopped to help when a man fell from a bridge over the A40 – the vic­tim sadly died at the scene

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