Crash victims reunite with the crews who helped save their lives

Matthew and Luke recovering well after ordeal

Two college students who were hit by a car whilst on a night out in Middlesbrough have been reunited with the ambulance crews who helped save their lives.

Kings Academy pupils Luke Mason and Matthew Lockwood, both aged 18, were on a night out with friends when they were involved in the collision outside Empire night club, in Corporation Road.

Matthew sustained a head injury, concussion and amnesia, whilst Luke sustained significant head, chest and leg injuries, requiring hours of surgery. He was placed in an induced coma for three weeks before spending further time in hospital for recovery and physiotherapy.

Although back at college, both continue to suffer with the injuries they sustained in the incident and Luke will require more surgery.

They have now been reunited with the North East Ambulance Service crews to thank them for the part they played in saving their lives.

Paramedic Nigel Furmidge and emergency care assistant Andrew Hill were first on scene, followed by clinical care manager Chris Picken, paramedic Diane Rutherford and emergency care assistant Tracy Martin.

Together they cared for both young men, treating them as best they could before rushing them on blue lights to James Cook University Hospital.

Nigel Furmidge, aged 51, had qualified as a paramedic just four months before Luke’s accident, having spent the previous 15 years in other roles within the service, including 12 as an emergency care assistant and technician.

Nigel said: “We were updated by our dispatch team on our way there that they had received a lot of calls about the incident. That in itself tells you that it’s going to be quite serious but we weren’t sure what to expect.

“It was my first trauma job since qualifying so was quite daunting for me but once you’re on scene you don’t really have time to think about it, you’re just focusing on the patients in front of you.

“When we arrived, Luke was laid on his belly in the street and had a large pool of blood around his head. There was a police officer knelt down next to him and he was actually talking. I think he knew the severity of his injuries but he was surprisingly quite calm and very polite.

“After checking his back, we rolled him over on to his back so we could dress his head wound but due to the extent of his injuries it was difficult to do any of the interventions we would normally do and with us only being less than a five minute drive away from hospital we made the decision to get him on the stretcher and away to hospital immediately.

“It was amazing that he was fully conscious. All he kept saying was ‘keep me alive’ and ‘will someone let my mum know’.”

Luke is having to spend an extra year at college to catch up on his studies but is hoping to study politics at Oxford next year.

He said: “I remember coming out of the night club and crossing the road and the next thing I knew I was on the floor in a pool of blood.

“I’ve built up a picture of everything that happened but being able to see the guys again has filled in some of the gaps for me.”

“It’s surreal seeing them again,” added Matthew, who is hoping to study product design at either the University of Teesside or Sheffield University later this year. “I can’t actually remember anything so, like Luke says, it filled in some of the gaps I don’t know.”

Nigel and Andrew returned to the hospital twice to check on Luke’s condition but this was the first time they had seen him out of bed.

Andrew said: “We popped in when he was in intensive care the day after when he was in an induced coma but we had a nice chat with his mam and dad to say we were thinking about him. A month later he was still there but was just starting physio so we were able to have a chat with him.

“We haven’t seen him since he’s been out of bed and obviously he still had a lot going on when he last saw him.

“It was one of those jobs that sticks with you, we didn’t see how it was survivable with the injuries he had. It’s so nice to be able to see him now looking so much better.”

Nigel added: “You just get a connection with some patients and want to see how they’re doing. My youngest son is called Luke so my heart skipped a beat when I heard his name; I think that, combined with the extent of his injuries, meant he really stayed with me.

“It was such a good feeling to see somebody with the injuries Luke had to be up in bed talking to us six weeks later. Now to be able to see him walking and doing so well is an even better feeling, it’s hard to put into words. It really makes your job worthwhile when you can see that you have made a real difference to someone’s life.”

Diane said: “We rarely get to follow up on people and when you see people like Luke and Matthew with such horrific injuries it’s really lovely to be able to see them again looking so well.”

“It’s harder when it’s young people because they have got their whole lives in front of them,” added Chris. “They’re incredibly lucky to be alive.”

The driver of the vehicle received a four-year sentence after pleading guilty at Teesside Crown Court.

“What’s happened to us is life changing, we won’t be the same again,” said Luke. “I’ve now started a petition to change the law; if you get in a vehicle while intoxicated in any way you might as well pick up a weapon and shoot somebody, a vehicle is just as dangerous.”

The petition can be viewed at

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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