Baby injured in ambulance accident

Ambulance Crash

10.12.2008

A baby has been injured after an ambulance skidded on ice and overturned on the M62.

The four-week-old boy was being transferred in the ambulance to Leeds from Preston when it skidded at the junction with the M621.

West Yorkshire Police said the baby was then taken in another ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary where he remains in a critical but stable condition.

A spokeswoman for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service said, along with the usual ambulance personnel, a doctor and nurse were on board at the time of the accident who were assisting with the emergency transfer.

Prior to the accident the baby was in a "serious condition", but the reason why he was being moved has not been disclosed.

Police had been en route to attend another accident at the same location when the ambulance overturned.

A spokesman added: "It is believed ice on the roadway was a primary contributory factor."

The parents of the baby were not in the ambulance. The ambulance crew were said to be "shocked" and no one else was injured.

Copyright © Press Association 2008

Sion Kingston from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: This is a tragic case and illustrates the perils of travelling on the roads at this time of year.

"Ice on the roads is an ever present risk in the winter months and one against which drivers have to take precautions.

Generally speaking, a driver who has an accident in icy conditions will be responsible for that accident and injuries to others if that accident does not involve other vehicles and is due solely to the weather conditions. As a driver, the law requires you to drive at a speed and in such a manner as the weather conditions dictate.

"This is particularly difficult for the emergency services who have to balance the urgency of responding to a medical crisis as against their drivers' general obligations to passengers and other road users.

"For those who are injured in accidents or crashes caused by weather conditions, their first port of call is usually the driver of the vehicle in which they are travelling if no other vehicle is involved.

"In certain circumstances, a claim can be made against the local Highways Authority where it can be shown that the authority has failed to take reasonable steps to remove a potential hazard from the road; in this case, gritting roads to remove the risk of ice. The mere fact that there is ice on the road does not automatically mean that there is a claim. It depends on the particular circumstances of the case, gritting regimes and weather forecasts.

"It is too early to say in this case where the blame lies, if anywhere."