Air ambulance praised after Northumberland motorbike smash

The scene of the crash last August.
The scene of the crash last August.

A man whose life was plunged into jeopardy in a horrific motorcycle crash in Northumberland has thanked the region’s air ambulance for its life-saving care.

Husband and wife David and Tracey Lodge were involved in a serious collision with a car on the A696, near Kirkwhelpington, in August last year.

David and Tracey Lodge.

David and Tracey Lodge.

The couple, from Darlington, were travelling back from Aberdeen after visiting their daughter when the incident happened. A car illegally crossed their path, resulting in their motorbike smashing into its side.

The pair were sent flying over the motorbike’s handlebars. Mr Lodge’s head struck the car windscreen before they were both thrown some distance from the crash site – Mr Lodge landed 13 metres down the road and Mrs Lodge was found 29 metres from where the collision happened.

While Mrs Lodge sustained relatively minor injuries, Mr Lodge’s were life-threatening. After treatment on scene, he was flown to the Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary by the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

He said: “GNAAS doctor, Laura Attwood, spent an hour at the roadside stabilising me before I was taken to hospital. I suffered a broken foot, pelvis, both forearms, wrists and ribs, as well as multiple facial fractures, missing teeth, brain swelling and damaged lungs. I was told later that I was expected to die. If it wasn’t for the charity’s help, I’m sure I would have.”

Mr Lodge spent four weeks at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, before being transferred to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough to spend another four weeks recovering. He underwent multiple operations and now has two plates and 20 screws in his right forearm, one plate and ten screws in his left forearm, four screws in his foot and clips in his ribs.

Mrs Lodge suffered a broken finger, dislocated finger and shin, as well as lots of bruising.

Mr Lodge, who earlier this month returned to work as a taxi driver in Darlington, recently visited the GNAAS base at Durham Tees Valley Airport. Along with his wife, he thanked the medics and looked around the aircraft.

He said: “It’s been a long road to recovery, but I am now 95 per cent fit again, very recently back at work and looking into new motorbikes. So from the bottom of both our hearts, we would like say a huge thank-you to the people behind the service many times over.”