Young man almost lost his life after ‘not spot’ blocked emergency 999 call near Wherstead

Dr Mike Miller and his wife were first on the scene of a crash on the A137 three years ago where a

Dr Mike Miller and his wife were first on the scene of a crash on the A137 three years ago where a young lad could have been left paralysed. Dr Miller says he couldn't call 999 due to no signal and that there is still no phone signal there now. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

A man who failed to reach 999 after witnessing a horror crash near Ipswich has stressed that mobile phone coverage can mean the difference between life and death.

Dr Mike Miller and his wife were first on the scene of a crash on the A137 three years ago where a

Dr Mike Miller and his wife were first on the scene of a crash on the A137 three years ago where a young lad could have been left paralysed. Dr Miller says he couldn't call 999 due to no signal and that there is still no phone signal there now. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Dr Mike Miller was following a Ford Fiesta along the A137 near Tattingstone towards Ipswich in February 2014 when a motorbike rode past at speed.

When he turned the corner the motorbike was on the road but the car was not.

He then looked over and spotted the Fiesta had ploughed through a hedge and into a field throwing the young driver from the vehicle.

Dr Miller went to help with his wife, who is a paramedic, and tried to call 999 but due to lack of mobile signal, could not call for emergency aid.

Dr Mike Miller and his wife were first on the scene of a crash on the A137 three years ago where a

Dr Mike Miller and his wife were first on the scene of a crash on the A137 three years ago where a young lad could have been left paralysed. Dr Miller says he couldn't call 999 due to no signal and that there is still no phone signal there now. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Luckily, an on-call paramedic drove up the road a few minutes later and used his radio to get help.

“I was trying to dial 999 but there was just no signal at all, there was absolutely nothing,” said Dr Miller. “I tried running up and down the road to call 999.

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“The young man was incredibly lucky that we saw him because there were no cars immediately behind us.

“No-one would have known he had come off the road.”

We are currently running a reader survey on mobile phone ‘not spots’ in the county to paint a picture of problem areas.

Both the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and Suffolk County Council have asked mobile providers to improve the signal in the region to ensure a steady signal.

Dr Miller says the young man, who has now recovered from his injuries, had a lucky escape but it could have been a very different story.

“He had broken his vertebra and if he had tried to stand up could have been paralysed from the neck down,” he said.

“The real problem is you should be able to call 999 but we couldn’t.

“BT are stamping out phone boxes because everyone has a mobile phone these days but the signal around there is absolutely appalling.

“Whether you survive an accident shouldn’t rely on happenstance.”

Mobile companies say they are investing in improving mobile coverage across the country including rural areas.

To let us know what how the mobile coverage is where you live visit see here.