Pensioner's life saved by kindness of strangers after horror fall

A pensioner says passersby saved his life by giving him emergency first aid when he tripped on a protruding paving stone near his home.

Vince Clapham, 79, recovering at home after tripping on the pavement
Vince Clapham, 79, recovering at home after tripping on the pavement

Vince Clapham, 79, suffered severe head injuries after tripping on the uneven pavement at the junction of Bell Lane and Lower Raven Lane in Ludlow.

He said the fall left him with part of his skull showing, and could easily have cost him his life were it not for the quick thinking of a teenage checkout operator at the town's Tesco store and a traffic warden who came to his aid.

He also praised another passer-by who produced a first-aid kit and a police officer who urged the ambulance to get to the scene promptly.

The retired car worker is now recovering at his home in Lower Raven Lane. As well as the head wound, he suffered bruising and cuts to the face.

Mr Clapham said he was walking home after receiving his flu jab when he tripped on the pavement at about 4.25pm on Thursday.

"The corner of Ball Lane and Lower Raven Lane is in a dreadful state of disrepair, and I tripped over one of the protruding paving stones," he said.

"I fell flat on my face, resulting in a very bad cut.

"Two people, a traffic warden and a young Tesco checkout girl, she was 18, stopped and assisted me.

"If it weren't for their efforts, I would probably have died," he said. "When my husband came up and saw it he said he could actually see my skull."

The junction where Mr Clapham fell
The junction where Mr Clapham fell

Mr Clapham said the traffic warden, who was called Liam, went and called for an ambulance, while the shop worker called Harriet gave him emergency first aid.

"A passer by happened to have a first-aid kit, and the young girl knew her first aid, and she managed to stem the bleeding."

Mr Clapham said while he was waiting for an ambulance, a police officer drove past in a car.

"He stopped and he got on the phone, and the ambulance was here within 25 minutes," he said.

Mr Clapham was taken to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, and was allowed to return home at 2am the following day.

Despite his ordeal, Mr Clapham said he did not blame the council.

"I can't blame the council, they haven't got the resources," he said.

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