Dad-of-three battled to save seriously ill man after crash

John Butlin
John Butlin
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Rescuers knew every second counted as they battled to free an unconscious driver from his car.

Dad-of-three John Butlin, 29, has told how he desperately tried to break a window in order to reach a seriously ill man inside an Audi A4 following a crash on Preston New Road in Marton on Tuesday. Mr Butlin, of Victory Road, Blackpool, and who works at Coral Island in the resort, was travelling with his girlfriend in the opposite direction when the Audi ploughed across the central reservation and through a fence into the car park at The Harbour psychiatric unit. The 38-year-old driver had fallen ill behind the wheel while travelling towards the resort. Mr Butlin said: “I braked and pulled over into the bus stop. “While my girlfriend dialled 999 I ran out and jumped over the fence. “The driver was still conscious at first, but very dazed, and another guy and I were telling him to unlock the doors so we could get to him. “But then he fell unconscious and we realised we would have to break a window. “I started to use my elbow but nothing happened, then I found a rock and started hitting that against the window but it still wasn’t going through. “Then I found a bolt from the fence but that didn’t work either, and it was getting on for five minutes now. “The driver had stopped moving and there was more of a panic that we had to reach him. “We knew every second counted. “A few people had gathered by then and a woman gave me a tow rope with a hook on it. “I told everyone to move back and swung it at the back window which finally broke. “Then myself and another man were able to get to the driver and drag him out. “We literally dragged a lifeless body out of the car but the nurses from the Harbour were then able to start resuscitation and use a defibrillator. “Everyone knew that every second counted in getting him out of there and potentially it did save his life.” The incident happened at about 6.10pm on Tuesday. The driver was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital by ambulance. The road was closed for around two hours while investigation work was carried out. A spokesman from Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “There was an accident outside The Harbour and employees from the unit responded to provide first aid and support until the emergency services arrived. “We are very proud of them and continue to support them as this was a very distressing incident for everyone involved. “Our thoughts are with the driver and his family at this difficult time.”