Teen dies after ambulance takes almost 30 minutes to reach crash scene

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A TRAGIC Scots teenager died after it took an ambulance almost half an hour to reach the scene of an road accident.

Kyle Lowes, 16, was killed in a collision between a car and the scooter he was riding in Berwick-on-Tweed on Friday night.

Kyle, from across the border in Eyemouth, Berwickshire, lay in the street for 26 minutes as passers-by did their best to keep him breathing.

But the teenager is understood to have died five minutes before the ambulance arrived.

 

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Kyle Lowes, 16, was killed in a collision between a car and the scooter he was riding

 

The North East Ambulance Service, based in Newcastle, has admitted it failed to meet its eight-minute target and have launched an inquiry.

Berwick ambulance station is two miles from the spot where Kyle had his accident although it is unclear whether the only ambulance on duty that night was at the station.

Locals who battled to keep Kyle alive have started a petition to improve ambulance services which has already attracted 4,000 signatures.

Eyewitness Chris Munro, 19, from Berwick, said: “Kyle passed away five minutes before it arrived.

“Had it arrived sooner things may have been different.”

 

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The distance between where Kyle was in the collision and the Berwick ambulance centre

 

Chris Munro also gave the teen blankets in a bid to keep him alive.

He added: “Kyle was left on the cold ground while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

“There’s only one night ambulance in Berwick, and it needs to travel to either Newcastle or the Borders General Hospital, which means it can be away for roughly three hours.

“I started the petition because somebody needs to take a stand against the problems we face as a town.”

Dozens of floral tributes were laid at the crash site, while hundreds of Kyle’s friends expressed their sorrow on his Facebook page.

One wrote: “Love you big man.”

Another said: “Still in shock. Sleep tight angel.”

 

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The junction where the collision took place

 

Eyemouth High School head teacher David Watson paid tribute to the pupil who had only very recently left school and started a job.

He said: “We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Kyle’s death. We are a close community and this tragedy has affected us all deeply. All our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.

“Kyle was a well-liked young man, a quiet and well behaved pupil, yet who one-to-one and with his peers had a great sense of humour.

“The fifth year pupils are a very close year group and are feeling Kyle’s loss deeply. As with any tragic incident, we are offering a range of options to assist our pupils during this time, including counselling.”

The collision happened just after 10pm on North Road at the junction with Magdalene Drive.

The North East Ambulance Service confirmed that they received a call at 10.02pm and arrived at 10.28.

“A community paramedic and a double-crewed ambulance attended. We can confirm that the ambulance was from Berwick.”

Paramedics administered CPR for 20 minutes but the teenager was pronounced dead at the scene.

A spokesman for the North East Ambulance Service: “We are currently investigating the circumstances around our delayed response.

“This was a red call for which the target response time is eight minutes. All UK ambulance services are funded by commissioners to reach 75% of all red cases within that eight minute target.

“Tragically, this was one of those instances that fell into the 25%.”

Berwick has two ambulances based at the town’s station but only one operates at night.

Politicians in Berwick have been trying to secure improved ambulance cover in the town following previous incidents of people facing lengthy waits in emergency situations.

Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith and his would-be replacement Julie Porksen have a petition calling for both Berwick ambulances to operate 24 hours, which over 1,800 people have signed.

Sir Alan said: “Clearly there needs to be an investigation into this case and I have taken this up with NEAS already.

“We need to know the full details of how the call to the ambulance service was handled and what could have been done differently in this very sad case.”

A 43-year-old man from Berwick was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless/inconsiderate driving and released on police bail.

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