A Bristol doctor has described how he encouraged a crowd to push a hire van off a Deliveroo rider who had ended up trapped underneath it following a collision. Vinay Pandya said the vehicle had been on the man’s neck and that he would have died within a minute if bystanders hadn’t managed to get it off him.
The Bristol Post reports that Pandya was getting a coffee in the Clifton Triangle branch of Pret a Manger just after 2pm yesterday when he heard ‘terrible screaming’.
Heading outside, he saw a van coming to a stop outside the Wills Memorial Building with people rushing towards it.
“I ran around the van and all I could see was a head sticking out from underneath,” he said.
“The van was completely covering him, and his body was diagonally underneath with the back wheel next to his head. His neck was right in front of the back wheel.
“I told the crowd to let me through as I am a doctor, and got to him. I checked for a pulse and he did have one, but he was unconscious and not breathing with eyes half open and rolled back.
“I instantly realised that the tyre was squeezing down on his neck, that this was what was crushing his neck and stopping him from breathing. I knew that the wheel had to come off his neck right away.”
Although one bystander shouted that no-one should do anything until an ambulance arrived, Pandya disagreed.
“I shouted ‘I’m a doctor and I’m telling you to fucking move the van back.’ Another man in the crowd got everyone organised really quickly, and I think someone must’ve gone in and released the handbrake.
“It was no mean feat, because they pushed it gently uphill just seven or eight inches, and it was enough to get the wheel away from his neck.
“I didn’t know too much about how many people did that, or how, because I was down there with him, holding his head, but it worked.
“As soon as the pressure on his neck was eased, he began to breathe and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Then he regained consciousness. He was able to tell me his name, and he had lots of injuries to his head and face.
“Then the paramedics arrived and I was able to hand over to them. He was still stuck fast – I think the saddle of his bike was wedged under him and the van was completely on top of him.”
The van driver was detained at the scene, but police have since confirmed that no criminal action will be taken against him.
At 4.30pm yesterday a spokesperson for the Avon and Somerset Police said the man's injuries were not life-threatening. "The man is in a serious but stable condition in hospital."
A spokesperson for Deliveroo said: "We are aware of reports of an accident involving a rider and we are investigating. We are in touch with the authorities and will offer any support we can.
"Looking after our rider safety and welfare is an important priority for us and we know that riders frequently go above and beyond when bringing customers their meals.
"All Deliveroo riders are automatically covered with a first-of-its-kind global insurance package, whenever they are working with us to protect them and their earnings if they are involved in an accident."