An ambulance crew member who died after an ‘object’ smashed into his windscreen on an emergency call had actually returned to work following his retirement.
West Midlands Ambulance Service colleagues have paid tribute to Jeremy Daw – also known as Jack – who was a well-respected mentor. He was just 66-years-old and leaves behind a wife and children.
The tragic incident happened on the busy A49 at the junction of Moreton Road in Herefordshire at 8am on Saturday April 24. The driver was also injured. He was taken to hospital and has since been discharged.
Mr Daw had returned to the front line after retiring last year.
His death was the result of a “tragic accident”, West Midlands Ambulance Service’s emergency operations delivery director has said.
Nathan Hudson said Mr Daw, of Hereford, retired as a paramedic in November 2020 before rejoining as a technician in January this year to “support the trust during the pandemic”.
“Yesterday we lost a friend and colleague, and a family lost their loved one in a very tragic incident that happened in Hereford,” said Mr Hudson.
“Jeremy Daw, Jack, was a lovely husband, a father and, for us, within the ambulance service, he was not just a colleague but he was a dear friend as well.
“Across the whole of the service, people are mourning, across the whole of the country really, we’ve had unbelievable messages from people, particularly from other ambulance services.
“With nearly 30 years of service, Jeremy worked on the aircraft, he was a paramedic, he extended his retirement to make sure he could come back and help fight the Covid response that the NHS has put forward.”
Speaking about the incident, he said: “We had a 999 call where the crew responded yesterday shortly before 8am. About a minute after eight we had a 999 call to say the crew had been involved in an incident, whereby an object of some description had gone through and pierced the windscreen and one of the crew members were unconscious.
“The driver of the vehicle, who was also injured, was able to get out and try and help and support Jack because he was unconscious and started life-saving treatment to try and resuscitate him.”
He added: “We don’t think this was malicious, we think this is a tragic accident.”
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Sadly, despite everyone’s best efforts, nothing could be done to save our colleague, who was the front passenger, and he was confirmed dead at the scene.
“His crewmate, the driver, was also injured in the incident. He has received treatment at hospital and has subsequently been discharged.”
The Midlands Air Ambulance, two emergency ambulance crews, paramedic officers and two Mercia Accident Rescue Service doctors were called to the tragedy. The road was closed off until mid-afternoon.
West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “This is truly awful news, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of those involved at this very difficult time.
“I am enormously proud of all the staff and the university students as part of their clinical placement that worked so hard and professionally to try to save our colleague.
“I am sorry that despite their best efforts, he could not be saved.”
Colleagues from across the emergency services in the West Midlands and Worcestershire took to social media to share their sorrow at what had happened.
One wrote: “We have lost one of our colleagues on duty today. Another is injured.”
Another said: “Very sad day for the ambulance service.”
One added: “An awful occurrence… …thinking of all involved.”
West Mercia Police are asking anyone who may have seen the incident or have dashcam footage to contact them on 101 quoting incident 00101i of 24 April.