Seaford man saves motorcyclist involved in Ditchling horror crash

A motorcyclist who was involved in a horror crash was brought back from the brink of death by a Seaford man who was first on the scene and an off-duty police superintendent who arrived shortly afterwards.

Monday, 4th May 2020, 3:25 pm

The crash between the motorcycle and a van happened at Ditchling on the afternoon of 27 August last year. Kevin Stevens arrived first and went to the aid of the motorcyclist. When he discovered that he was no longer breathing he immediately began administering CPR.

Next to arrive at the scene was Sussex Police Superintendent Stuart Hale and between them they then continued administering CPR for 15 minutes before the man started breathing again.

An ambulance and paramedics then arrived and the man was taken to hospital where he went on to survive.

Andrew Chapman, secretary of the Royal Humane Society said: “They were the right people in the right place at the right time.”

Now Mr Stevens and Superintendent Hale have both been awarded top national life-saving honours - Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificates – and have been personally praised by Secretary of the Royal Humane Society, Andrew Chapman, for saving the motorcyclist’s life.

Speaking as he announced the awards Mr Chapman said: “Time is of the absolute essence in situations such as this. The sooner CPR is started the more likely it is to succeed.

“Mr Stevens was on the spot almost immediately and started CPR at once. That undoubtedly played a major role in the man being brought back from the brink of death.

“Put simply Mr Stevens and Superintendent Hale were the right people in the right place at the right time. Without their efforts it is unlikely that the motorcyclist would have recovered. He owes his life to them.

“At the same time this is yet another of many cases that emphasises the importance of as many people as possible learning how to administer CPR. I’m sure that when people learn the technique they probably hope they will never be called on to use it but this case shows that it can, as it did here, make the difference between life and death.”

The roots of the Royal Humane Society stretch back more than two centuries. The Queen is its patron and its president is Princess Alexandra. It is the premier national body for honouring bravery in the saving of human life.

It was founded in 1774 by two of the day’s eminent medical men, William Hawes and Thomas Cogan. Their primary motive was to promote techniques of resuscitation.

However, as it emerged that numerous people were prepared to put their own lives at risk to save others, the awards scheme evolved, and today a variety of awards are made depending on the bravery involved.

The Society also awards non health care professionals who perform a successful resuscitation. Since it was set up the Society has considered over 87,000 cases and made over 200,000 awards. The Society is a registered charity which receives no public funding and is dependent on voluntary donations.

It was one of a select number of organisations to receive a donation from the Patron’s fund which was set up to acknowledge work done by organisations of which the Queen is the patron, to mark her 90th birthday.

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