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Darlaston Road: WATCH Hero van driver stops out of control bus after driver collapses at the wheel in Wednesbury

By Jack Averty | Wednesbury | News | Published:

A hero van driver stopped a bus after its driver had collapsed at the wheel this morning.

The bus driver is in a critical condition after suffering a 'medical episode' at the wheel of his bus.

But the bus did not cause any serious injury to any other drivers on the road thanks to the van driver positioning his vehicle to help bring the bus to a stop.

Fifty-one-year-old Gary Welsh, from Bloxwich, who was driving the van that helped avert disaster, spoke to the Express & Star about this morning's incident.

Hero van driver stops out of control bus after driver collapses at the wheel in Wednesbury

He said: "We were driving up the road and the bus driver clipped us and took the mirror off. His head was down and he looked like he was on his phone.

"I honked the horn but he didn't shift and we stopped and Kevin got out, thinking he would stop bit he didn't. I said to him get back in the van, I thought he had done a runner.

"At first we thought he'd pinched the bus the way he was driving down the road and I thought he isn't going to get away with this.

"I spun the van around and darted down the road. I was in fourth gear so I don't know what he was doing. Truthfully I thought he was drugged up.

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"We had to try and get him so I drove in front of him and put the hand brake on to stop him and he crashed into the back of us."

Mr Welsh continued: "We got out and saw he was slumped over the wheel and started to get him out.

"The double door sprung open but the drivers door was locked and we couldn't open so it so we forced it open with a crowbar while David held his head up.

"We managed to get him out and lay him on his side. His eyes were wide open but there was no response."

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The man had his heart restarted by emergency services and was taken to Walsall Manor Hospital, where he remains in a critical condition.

Emergency services were called to Darlaston Road shortly after 7.30am, with West Midlands Ambulance Service, West Midlands Fire Service and West Midlands Police all in attendance.

The road was shut between Woden Road West and Bilston Road while emergency services dealt with the accident, which had been described as a 'serious collision' by West Midlands Police. Blakedon Road was also closed.

A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service, which sent two ambulances, a paramedic officer and an air ambulance to the scene, said: "Crews were told that having spotted the man suffering a medical episode at the wheel of the bus, a van driver managed to position his vehicle and successfully bring the bus to a stop.

“The bus driver, a man, was found to be in cardiac arrest and on arrival of ambulance staff, police were already administering excellent CPR.

“Ambulance staff took over treatment and the man’s heart was successfully restarted prior to departure for Walsall Manor Hospital but he remains in a critical condition.

“West Midlands Ambulance Service would like to praise the van driver for ensuring the bus did not cause further injury, and the police for carrying out early CPR, essential to give the patient the best chance of survival.”

The incident is currently ongoing with the road remaining shut. Drivers have been advised to avoid the area.

Kate Baker, from West Midlands Police, said: "Police were called to Darlaston Road, Wednesbury at around 7:35am this morning (Thursday 19 October) to reports of a collision.

"Paramedics are currently treating a man with serious injuries.

"Darlaston Road is currently closed at the junction of Woden Road West and Blakedon Road is also closed.

"Motorists are advised to avoid the area.

"Any witnesses are asked to contact police on 101 quoting log 365 19/10/17."

Jack Averty

By Jack Averty
Senior Reporter - @javerty_star

Reporter with the Express & Star, based at head office in Wolverhampton

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