Heroic lorry driver pulls Tadcaster man to safety after A64 crash

Picture of the crash on the A64 - image supplied by Lisa Harris
Picture of the crash on the A64 - image supplied by Lisa Harris

A Tadcaster man is recovering in hospital after he was pulled to safety by a heroic HGV driver following yesterday’s horrific crash on the A64.

After suffering a burst front tyre, Andrew Wilkinson, had pulled up on the edge of the eastbound carriageway on the A64 near Tadcaster yesterday morning.

The minibus after the crash (s)

The minibus after the crash (s)

Despite switching his hazard warning lights on, Mr Wilkinson’s HGV was soon struck from behind by a nine-seater Ford Transit minibus.

The ex-army soldier instantly rushed out to rescue the driver of the minibus, a 29-year-old man from Tadcaster whose vehicle was billowing with smoke. 

Mr Wilkinson explained he saw the driver hanging out the door of his minibus with severe head injuries, before pulling him to safety and putting him in the recovery position. 

He said: “I was pulled over on the edge of this grass verge ringing my boss when I felt this almighty crash. I looked in my mirror and saw it was a minibus.

Andrew's car after the crash (s)

Andrew's car after the crash (s)

“I wasn’t in any pain at all at the time and, being ex-army I knew how to deal with the situation, so I decided to go over to make sure everyone was ok.

“When I went over I saw the driver was hanging out the door of the minibus with his hand trapped, smoke coming from the car and blood everywhere.

“I didn’t know if the car was going to set on fire so I decided to get him out and put him in the recovery position. It’s just lucky I knew what to do.”

Mr Wilkinson, from Leeds, explained the shock only kicked in after crash but said he was ‘relieved’ that nobody else was in the minibus at the time.

Police, the ambulance service and fire service arrived on the scene at 10.45am before the Tadcaster man was flown to Leeds General Infirmary with serious head injuries.

He remains in Leeds General Infirmary in a stable condition.

A full road closure was then put in place on the road at the A1M Bramham as police attempted to clear stationary traffic until it was reopened at 1.22pm.

Mr Wilkinson is recovering at home following the crash and admitted he is still scared at looking back over the pictures of the crash. 

He said: “I was just worried that he had spinal injuries, there was a lot of smoke so I just thought I need to get him out of this car. A few bystanders came over to help but it was just a horrific scene. 

“I just remember when I pulled him out his head was double the size and there was blood everywhere. People who were standing near were screaming and crying but thankfully the army teaches you how to deal with these situations.”