Councillor accused of ambulance chasing after posting crash scene images

A city councillor has been accused of "ambulance chasing for votes" after she posted images of herself at a crash scene in which two people were injured.

Councillor Hibbert at the smash scene in Penn on Sunday evening
Councillor Hibbert at the smash scene in Penn on Sunday evening

Councillor Celia Hibbert posted photographs of herself standing at a the scene of a smash involving three cars in Penn Road, Wolverhampton on Sunday evening.

It has now been confirmed that nobody was seriously injured in the crash, which involved three cars with a total of six people inside.

Councillor Hibbert said she had put up the images to show she was "here and around" to deal with local issues, and insisted there was "nothing wrong" with her actions.

However, the Penn ward councillor was met with a public backlash on Facebook, with some accusing her of acting in "bad taste" and of using the smash as a "photo opportunity".

Police, firefighters and paramedics attended the smash, which happened at around 6pm on Sunday at the junction of Penn Road and Alexandra Road.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said one man was treated for minor injuries and discharged at the scene, while another man was taken to New Cross Hospital with injuries not believed to be serious.

In an image Councillor Hibbert can be seen standing in front of one of the cars involved in the smash while police officers and firefighters go about their work in the background.

She posted: "There has been an accident this evening on the Penn road, please avoid this route as the road is blocked.

"I thank the Police and Ambulance team for arriving the accident scene immediately.

"I will raise this matter again, of constant accident on the Penn Road at our next Police and Community Meeting.

"I will also raise this issue, at the Council meeting as we do not want to record any fatalities here in Penn, due to road accident, especially in this day and age."

Some people responding in the Finchfield Merry Hill Penn Castlecroft Community Group on Facebook were less than impressed.

Marie Tunks said: "Sorry but councillors who do this should be asked to stand down especially if some family members don't know their loved ones have been in a serious accident."

Ellen Osborne said: "Wow. I like the community awareness thing as much as the next person. However using it for a campaign and a photo opportunity, right at the scene is in such bad taste."

Charlene Ault added: "Councillors code of conduct needs a look at I think councillor."

Paul McMurtrie said: "This is just ambulance chasing for votes. It would be great if you could set up a campaign and get support for actual change (which will never happen) but hanging around crash sites is just poor taste."

And Vicki Carter wrote: "Wow i think you may have misjudged your reasoning for a photo shoot. If my family member had been involved in this accident and i saw these pics i would not be happy at all!!"

Heather Watson-Wood said: "This is in poor taste I am afraid although I appreciate the sentiment."

Thomas Williams said: "Dam that’s distasteful, turning up to the scene of an accident then posing for multiple photos of yourself to post on Facebook? What does that accomplish other than ego inflating."

Labour councillor Hibbert attempted to explain herself by posting: "I am only showing that I'm here, and around - in the thick of issues-seeing the problems of the area-etc to enable me raise them.

"Representatives take interviews and photos at incident/accident scenes. They also use photos to communicate their work.

"Nothing wrong with that not unless someone has another issue."

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: "At 6.23pm we received a call to attend a three-car RTC at the junction of Penn Road and Alexandra Road in Wolverhampton.

"We sent one ambulance and a paramedic officer to the scene. On arrival we discovered a total of six occupants of the vehicles.

"However, only two required assessment, one of whom was a teenage male who was treated for minor injuries, and discharged on the scene. The other was a male who was the driver of one of the vehicles.

"He was treated for injuries not believed to be serious before being taken to New Cross Hospital."

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