Thursday, 13 December 2018

Gardener escapes as digger overturns

A LANDSCAPE gardener escaped unhurt after his digger rolled over and trapped him inside.

A LANDSCAPE gardener escaped unhurt after his digger rolled over and trapped him inside.

Residents of Nun’s Acre in Goring, where the contractor was working in their communal riverside garden, helped to free him.

He was digging out a compost heap when the accident happened on Tuesday afternoon.

Witnesses said the soil gave way underneath the vehicle, which toppled over and landed on its side.

Resident Sue Reynolds heard the driver shouting and alerted her husband Geoff. He summoned the help of neighbour Alan Matthews who raised the alarm. Mr Reynolds brought a spade from his house which he passed to the gardener through a small gap underneath the digger.

The man crawled through a gap in the doorway and dug his way out through the mud.

The air ambulance based from RAF Benson arrived, quickly followed by a helicopter from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Ambulance Service, which was in the area.

They landed on the village cricket field off Cleeve Road.

Mr Reynolds said: “The whole thing didn’t take long — he’d only been there for 10 minutes when the medics arrived and it only took another five to dig himself out.

“Once he had the spade, he knew what he needed to do. He knew he was fine, which is why he was so keen to just dig himself out.”

The paramedics checked over the gardener.

Adrian Turner, 76, who lives in Nun’s Acre, was alerted by the sound of the emergency services’ sirens.

He said: “I looked out of my study window and saw a fire engine shoot past, so I grabbed my camera and ran into the street, taking pictures as I went.

“The emergency services deserve praise for responding so quickly to the incident — they were fantastic.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen two air ambulances sent to one job.

“The man was very lucky that the ground underneath him was soft and that [Mrs Reynolds] heard him calling for help.”

The gardener, from Green & Tidy, of Wallingford, has not been named. Other staff came to collect the vehicle, which was not damaged, and finished the work.

Director Duncan Scroggs said: “It was just one of those freak things. Thankfully, it wasn’t serious.”

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