‘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
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