The quick action by staff from a veterinary surgery who rushed to the scene of a collision in Chepstow on Tuesday have been praised for their bravery.

Helen Parry and Harry Williams were on duty at Marlows Vets in Chepstow when they were alerted by colleagues to a crash on the A466 just around the corner from the practice.

Harry Williams, a nurse at Marlow's vets
(Harry Williams)

A bin lorry had careered into a car and crashed into a tree so Helen and Harry, along with Marlow Vets owner Glenn Marlow and vet nurse Bea raced to the scene and were confronted with the lorry embedded in the tree. 

There were two occupants, the passenger seemed fine but the other, the driver, looked in a bad way as the main impact was on the driver’s side of the vehicle.

A passer-by smashed the passenger window and pulled out the passenger so Harry then climbed in through the passenger window to get to the driver .

A passing doctor handed Harry a stethoscope as in his rush to gt to the scene, Harry had left his in the clinic.

“I couldn’t hear a heartbeat and realised he was clinically dead” Harry told the Beacon.

So he started on chest compressions, despite the steering wheel crushing the man’s chest.

“It was difficult to get an angle on him to work on his chest,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bea had dialled 999 and Helen had climbed on to the cab of the lorry to try to get at the driver.

“Without thinking I started ripping the branches out of the way and began pulling at what was left of the windscreen to get to the driver,” she said.

Bea handed her a pair of scissors to cut the seat belt out of the way.

“He looked in a bad way so I called Bea to get some swabs as the man had blood in his mouth” she added.

By a stroke of luck, a passing motorist, Peter Edwards from Llangwm, was a resuscitation practitioner and had a defibrillator in his car.

He ran over to the driver’s side and hooked up the driver to the defib and shouted “stand clear, we’ll shock him”.

He also put a breathing tube into the driver's mouth.

Then Harry carried on with CPR.

A passing colonel from the Rifles’ barracks, stopped to give Harry a hand with the chest compressions.

A retired GP and his wife, a nurse, from Devauden, who had dropped their cat off at the clinic, came over and gave some valuable advice.

After another shock from the defibrillator, the driver started to breathe.

So Helen, who by now has smashed her way onto the cab, began talking to him.

“His colour was good and he held his head up” she said.

She noticed he was wearing a St Christopher and said to him that the saint was looking after him today.

The police and land ambulances had turned up and took over from that point and an air ambulance later landed and took the driver to Bristol ITU with a suspected broken leg.

The passenger, the driver’s stepson, was shaken, but unhurt.

Glenn Marlow, the practice owner praised his two members of staff and later said that he was proud of them and believed that it was their actions, coupled with the assistance of Peter Edwards, that helped keep the man alive until the ambulance arrived.

Helen later told the Beacon: “ Glenn Marlow was excellent and so was Bea, both co ordinating and stopping the traffic, Bea whilst all the time in phone to emergency services updating them and passing info onto us. It was a real team effort. I only did what anyone else would have done in that situation and one of first to the scene.”

Helen Parry
(Marlow vets)

She went to Lydney hospital afterwards to get her hands bandages up

Helen's hand after the rescue
(Helen Parry)