Express & Star

Honours for quick-thinking off-duty heroes who saved man after he fell ill at the wheel and crashed

Two West Midlands Police officers, a doctor and a quick-thinking driver fought a road-side battle to bring an elderly motorist back from the brink of death after he suffered a heart attack at the wheel.

Andrew Chapman: Praise

The man crashed into an oncoming car driven by a learner after suffering a cardiac arrest – now the four, who were all off-duty but leapt into action to help him, have been dubbed heroes and given awards.

PC Mark Benedict, DC Lisa Shepherd, Dr Anthony Skilbeck and Natalie Hill have all been awarded Royal Humane Society Resuscitation certificates.

The horror incident happened in Summer Hill, Kingswinford, on the evening of October 10 last year.

First on the scene was Wall Heath woman Ms Hill, who was driving behind the car driven by the learner. She got out and rushed to the aid of the heart attack victim, got him out of his car and realised he was not breathing.

She immediately began administering cardiac pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and was then joined first by her sister, DC Shepherd, and shortly after that by PC Benedict, who were both off-duty.

They began helping with the CPR along with Dr Skilbeck, who had heard the crash from his home nearby and joined them in the rescue mission.

Between the four of them they managed to restore the man’s pulse.

Andrew Chapman, secretary of the Royal Human Society, praised them for for their teamwork which succeeded in bringing the crash victim back from the brink of death.

He said: “Without doubt the four of them were the right people in the right place at the right time.

“It’s essential if CPR is to be successful that it is started as soon as possible. There was absolutely no delay in this case as Ms Hill was at the scene and went straight to the aid of the driver.

“She was shortly joined by the others and together they were responsible for some great team work which resulted in the man’s heart being started again. They did a wonderful job.

"This is another of many cases we see which emphasise the value of as many people as possible, not just members of the emergency services, learning how to administer CPR. It can, as it did in this case, make the difference between life and death.”

The Royal Humane Society is the premier national body for honouring bravery in the saving of human life and its roots stretch back more than two centuries.