Delayed emergency call exacerbated injuries
A report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has stated that a five hour delay in finding a car crash victim following an emergency call, did contribute to his injuries.
Gary Shore, 21, is still seriously ill in hospital having not being found for five hours despite an emergency call to the police, following a serious car accident in Rotherham last November. His solicitors Irwin Mitchell are now investigating legal action.
Nine months on from the accident when his car left the road, hit a tree and overturned at Kimberworth Park, Rotherham, Mr Shore is still in the high dependency unit at Rotherham Hospital. He has a severe brain injury and is now paralysed.
A passing member of the public alerted the police at 9:45am on 3 November 2008 after seeing the car had left the road. Following the call a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) drove down the road but failed to find Mr Shore.
Mr Shore was left in the woods until the car was reported to the police again at 2:00pm, and at that stage the police, fire service and paramedics found him.
The IPCC has criticised South Yorkshire Police for not following the correct search policies and said that the PCSO’s search was inadequate.
The IPCC report confirms that Mr Chopra, a Consultant in Emergency medicine, stated that he believes there is no doubt that the delay contributed to Mr Shore’s secondary injuries, which made his primary injuries that much worse.
Delayed treatment resulted in additional injuries to an already serious trauma, on top of which he became hyperthermic and developed rhabdomyolysis (a potentially fatal condition where skeletal muscles are broken down) and contracted severe chest infections, which worsened his ultimate prospects for recovery.
Paul Shore, Gary’s father, said: "This accident has had an enormous impact on Gary’s life. We are extremely disappointed to hear that the delay in finding Gary has contributed to his injuries and we just hope now that Gary can make a recovery and the failings do not turn out to be any more serious than they already are."
Rachael Aram, Irwin Mitchell said: "We are now investigating a claim on Mr Shore’s behalf following the IPCC’s conclusion that the delay in finding Mr Shore contributed to his injuries. Gary and his family have been through a horrific nine months and it is important now that we can try to move forwards and bring closure to the incident.
"The IPCC has made its own recommendations and it is clear that events like this can not be allowed to happen again. The report states that it should be emphasised to officers that conducting a search for a vehicle that has left the carriageway of a busy road cannot be effectively conducted from a single crewed vehicle.
"Improvements need to be made to ensure that correct policies are followed in future to avoid anybody else suffering as Gary has."