Van driver thanks rescuers

A driver who was seriously injured in a motorway crash at Bramham a year ago has reunited with the firefighters who saved his life.

Wednesday, 5th December 2018, 11:23 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th December 2018, 11:25 am
Date:3rd December 2018. Picture James Hardisty. Delivery driver Tom Dulson, 24, from Bolton, meet the Blue Watch, firefighters from Garforth Fire Station, who rescued him from a horror crash a year ago on the A1M near Leeds when he suffered injuries including two broken legs. Pictured Tom Dulson, with firefighters (left to right) Steve Bartle, Wayne Moore, Ryan Simpson, Watch Commander Phill Norman Swallow, and Simon Littlewood.

Thomas Dulson, 24, went to Garforth Fire Station on Monday, December 3, to thank the crews who rescued him a year on from the dramatic crash.

Mr Dulson, a delivery driver from Bolton, spun off of the A1 last year on December, 1, when his van hit ice.

The van ended up suspended from a bridge, hanging 40 meters over the A64, with passing police officer Martin Willis initially hanging on to the van until emergency crews arrived.

Mr Dulson, 24, had suffered two broken legs and was fully conscious as he hung upside down in the driver’s seat.

Firefighters used specialist cutting equipment to tunnel through the side of the vehicle to get to Mr Dulson.

Incident commander Phil Swallow, of Garforth Fire Station, crawled in and spoke to Mr Dulson before a paramedic assessed his injuries.

Mr Dulson was conscious throughout the his ordeal, which lasted almost two hours.

In the past year, Mr Dulson has had five operations to try to reconstruct his legs.

Surgeons have inserted metal pins into the bones of his left leg to help it heal properly and he has undergone a skin graft.

Mr Dulson said this week: “I literally lost control and careered into a bridge.

“I don’t remember much after that and the next thing I knew I woke up hanging upside down in my cab.

“When the crews arrived they were amazing.

“They kept me so calm talking me through everything and trying to make everything as easy as possible on me.

“It’s been a long road to recovery for me and I still feel nervous about the thought of getting back in a van, but I know things could have been much worse.

“I’ve wanted to come and see the crews for ages. A year on, and on the mend, feels like a good time.

“All I can say to them is thank you.”

A total of 14 firefighters were involved in the rescue.

Crews from Garforth Fire Station were first on the scene, followed by Wetherby, Killingbeck and Cleckheaton Fire Station’s technical rescue unit.

Mr Dulson hopes to return to work in the new year.