Cyclist thanks GNAAS for their help after collision with tractor

A CYCLIST who collided with a tractor on a dual carriageway in County Durham has thanked the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) for coming to his aid.

Robert Spink, 46, was doing a time trial on his bike along the A689 on August 10 2017, when he collided with a tractor with a trailer attached at the Butterwick Road junction.

The father-of-two sbroke five ribs, his wrist, collar bone and vertebrae in his neck. He also had a lacerated liver, a punctured lung, and a buildup of blood in the space between his chest wall and his lung.

He said: “I can remember being put on a stretcher and having a neck brace on, and I vaguely remember being in the helicopter.

“GNAAS were really good and they were comforting and supportive, talking to me all the time.”

Mr Spink was flown to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and underwent an operation a week after the accident.

He said: “I’m quite a fit bloke so when I had the accident it was hard not to be able to do the things I normally do.

“I usually go on my bike five times a week and do 150 miles. I’m not doing too bad now, but my wife is not too keen on me competing on my bike at the same level.”

Since the incident, Mr Spink and his family have held a coffee morning in aid of GNAAS and raised more than £670.

GNAAS are reliant on public donations to survive. Last year they needed to raise £5.1m to keep flying. To find out how you can help, please visit or call 01325-487263.

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