Car aerial left Durham Police officer 'minutes from death'

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OfficersImage source, Durham Police
Image caption,
PC Lee Jackson (centre) said his colleagues saved his life

A group of people who helped saved a police officer's life when he impaled himself on a broken car aerial are to receive awards.

Doctors later told PC Lee Jackson, 45, he had been three minutes away from death.

He injured himself on 27 November while investigating a crashed van at West Butsfield, near Tow Law, on the A68.

A nearby homeowner and seven police officers who came to his rescue are set to get Royal Humane Society awards.

PC Jackson was climbing over the crashed van to check if anyone was inside when his arm became impaled on the vehicle's broken aerial.

He said: "It had gone in at the top of my forearm and down to the bottom of my wrist.

"My first thoughts were initially to stay there and call for the fire service and ambulance but my arm started to bleed and it shot out over my head and the top of the van.

"I recognised that as an arterial bleed and I knew that changed the timeframe involved."

Image source, Durham Police
Image caption,
PC Jackson realised he was in immediate dying of danger

PC Jackson said he estimated he had 15 minutes to live as he removed himself from the aerial, radioed his colleagues in Consett and went to the nearby farmhouse of Freda Scott.

"She offered me a tea towel and invited me inside but I said no because I thought it's not nice to have a stranger die in your house," he added.

PCs Alan Freeman, Philip Nixon and Carl Symes and Sgt Philip Carter went to his aid, with PC Freeman plugging the wound with his thumb and PC Nixon using a belt as his tourniquet.

Acting Ch Insp David Stewart, who was based back at Consett Police Station, requested an armed response unit attend knowing they would have the necessary equipment to deal with such a wound.

PCs Mark Cudden and David Morgan, who were at Spennymoor, were mobilised and prepared a tourniquet, bandages and oxygen en route.

They then took the injured officer to the University Hospital of North Durham.

PC Jackson said: "The consultant later told me I was just one minute away from losing my arm and three minutes from death.

"All of the decisions which were made by everyone who came to my aid slowed down the bleeding and meant that I recovered fully and I am alive today."

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