Safety fears raised after boy,11, is knocked down in Mytholmroyd tunnel

Neal Andrews-Parry with his son Asher, aged eleven, at Thrush Hill Tunnel, Mytholmroyd.
Neal Andrews-Parry with his son Asher, aged eleven, at Thrush Hill Tunnel, Mytholmroyd.

A father has spoken of the horror moment he found his 11-year-old son lying helpless in the middle of the road after being hit by a car in Mytholmroyd.

Serving fireman Neil Andrews-Parry has raised safety concerns following the road accident in Thrush Hill Tunnel, on Thrush Hill Road, at around 4.25pm on Friday.

Mr Andrews-Parry’s son Asher was crossing the road, near to the steps which lead from Elphaborough Close, when he was hit by a black Ford Mondeo.

Despite bouncing off the car’s bumper and being launched about 15 feet through the air, Asher, fortunately, escaped with a fracture to his upper left arm, a concussion and cuts and bruises - mainly to his head. However, when Mr Andrews-Parry found his son lying in the road there was blood gushing from his head and he feared his injuries were far more serious.

Mr Andrews-Parry, who is watch commander at Illingworth Fire Station and a retained firefighter in Mytholmroyd said: “I only went to the tunnel because Asher had judo on Friday evening and he was running late.

“I got to the bottom of the street and saw lots of people crowded around and the car at a funny angle and thought ‘has there been a bump?’.

“I got out of my car to see if there was anything I could do and that’s when I saw Asher’s socks which I recognised.

“It just started from there really. I ran straight over. I’m a firefighter so I’m casualty trauma trained.

“The driver was sat at the side of his head so I was telling him not to move his head. And I was telling Asher not to move around. That’s where work kicks in.

“It happens in life where you’re passing an accident whilst off duty and end up helping. But you never dream that you’ll be doing it to your own family.”

Mr Andrews-Parry was initially assisted by a paramedic from an ambulance first responder, before a Yorkshire Air Ambulance landed and helped treat Asher. The 11-year-old was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary where he was kept overnight for observation before being released on Saturday.

Mr Andrews-Parry said it took over an hour for the first responder and the air ambulance to arrive and also criticised Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) for not sending a road ambulance.

However, a YAS spokesperson said the first responder arrived after 34 minutes and said a road ambulance was not sent because the air ambulance was deemed the best form of care for Asher.

Meanwhile Mr Andrews-Parry, who thanked the driver of the Mondeo for the help he gave his son after the accident, the paramedics at the scene and the staff at Leeds General Infirmary, has called for safety measures to be introduced at the tunnel.

The father-of-four, who lives on Stocks Avenue in Mytholmroyd, said: “There’s no signage to warn drivers that there’s potentially families, kids or elderly people crossing the road. For pedestrians coming down them steps it’s a game of chicken. There needs to be speed bumps at either side of that tunnel.”

Calderdale Council’s Head of Planning and Highways, Geoff Willerton, said: “We take road safety very seriously and fortunately accidents like this one are rare. The road under the railway bridge on Thrush Hill Road is very narrow, but there are existing walkway barriers to protect pedestrians. However, an officer will shortly be visiting the site to assess if any additional safety measures can be made, particularly around the steps where the collision occurred.”

Calderdale Council’s Labour group have also vowed to lobby for safety measures to be introduced at the tunnel.

Meanwhile, speaking about the accident, Asher, who attends Scout Road Academy, said: “I was going down the steps when a car drove past. I looked left and right but there was nothing there. I stepped out and the car was behind me.

“I woke up and everyone was around me.”