Ambulance took 29 mins to reach dying OAP

AN ambulance took 29 minutes to reach a heart attack victim slumped at the roadside after crashing his car, The Evening Star can reveal today.

Neil Puffett

AN ambulance took 29 minutes to reach a heart attack victim slumped at the roadside after crashing his car, The Evening Star can reveal today.

The crew, who arrived at the scene 12 minutes after a paramedic, then successfully resuscitated him on the way to Ipswich Hospital.

But 75-year-old Alfred Clark later died - prompting a series of questions about the turn-out times which let him down when he needed help the most.

Today, the family of much-loved Mr Clark said they were angry and disgusted by the delays.

Meanwhile, two MPs called for an inquiry into the tragedy - which happened in one of the busiest places in Suffolk - Felixstowe when thousands of people were in town for the popular Sunday market.

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As questions continued to mount today, The Evening Star, through its renowned Ambulance Watch campaign, fired in a series of questions on the tragedy. The questions are printed on page five tonight.

What is clear - despite the valiant efforts of a police team and the first paramedic who arrived at the scene - is that Mr Clark would have been better served if the 999 crews had got their earlier.

All 12 of Suffolk's on-call ambulances were busy when the tragedy unfolded.

Mr Clark's daughter Sue Coleman, 49, of Dovercourt, today said she was disgusted at the length of time it took her father to get expert help.

She said: “When you look at it he could still have been alive. I think it's disgusting.

“The police did their best and revived him three or four times but he gave up in the end.”

Mrs Coleman's husband Ray Coleman, 61, was full of praise for police officers on the scene but said the family will be looking for answers from ambulance chiefs and would report the matter to his MP.

He said: “I'm very upset about it, I'm absolutely livid. How can it take 29 minutes?

“I don't know the full story yet. I will do as much as I can to find out the whys and the wherefores.

“He was a lovely person, very loveable and everybody is very upset about it.

“I was very close to him and he was like a father to me rather than a father-in-law. You couldn't wish to meet a nicer person than him.”

Mrs Coleman said her father, who before his retirement worked for Essex council in waste services, was living on his own following the death of his wife Muriel five years ago.

She said: “He was a really kind-hearted man. “He would do anything for anybody.”

Besides his daughter, Mr Clark leaves three sons and two grandchildren.

A service for Mr Clark will be held at Weeley Crematorium in Colchester Road, Weeley, from 1pm on Tuesday October 14.

- Would you like to pay tribute to Mr Clark? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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