20th Oct, 2017

Doctor slams idiots after laser pointed at air ambulance

Stratford Editorial 14th Aug, 2014 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A DOCTOR has blasted mindless idiots who directed a laser beam at an air ambulance as it was flying an injured van drivDoctor slams idiots after laser pointed at air ambulance er to hospital.

It happened as the Midlands Air Ambulance was passing over Warwick on Monday night (August 11) on its way to Coventry’s University Hospital having attended a crash between a car and a van on the A429 near Ettington shortly after 8pm.

Nick Crombie, trauma doctor for the Staffordshire-based service, was accompanying the aircrew when they noticed the beam following the helicopter.

Dr Crombie said: “We had been to a car crash that left five people injured. Even though it was quite late and dark, we were still able to fly the most seriously injured to hospital.

“As we flew over Warwick at a height of more than 1,200ft, a laser was pointed at the aircraft.

“Fortunately for us, the pilot is highly experienced and dealt with it. But, had the laser caught anyone’s eye albeit briefly, it can lead to blindness for at least ten minutes and a loss of spatial awareness.

“Had we not taken action and avoided being been dazzled, it would have prevented us landing until the visual effects had settled, delaying treatment of the casualty. It has the same effect as deliberately slowing down an ambulance en-route to hospital.

“If we can find whoever is responsible, we will seek to have them prosecuted.”

Two men were badly injured after being thrown from the van after it crashed with a car.

The van driver, a man in his 30s, received serious leg and pelvic injuries and was anesthetised before being flown to hospital, while his passenger, a man also in his 30s, received head, back and abdominal injuries, and was taken to the same hospital.

The car driver, a woman in her 30s, and two children travelling with her, were treated for minor injuries at the scene before being taken to hospital for further checks.

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