Firefighters had to cut away a fence to free a woman who was impaled as she tried to climb out of the locked Ward Jackson Park.
Watch manager Gary Crawford, of Stranton Fire Station, said: “The lady put her leg on the fence near to where the toilets are. She slipped and the fence went through her thigh.”
The woman, who is believed to be in her 40s, was taken to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough after the accident at around 9.30pm on Monday night.
Sian Weatherill, 27, was driving past the park when she saw the woman being supported by another woman and her son. More people stopped to help, including Sian’s dad John Weatherill and her sister’s boyfriend Ben Sprintall.
“As more people came we took turns holding her upright because it was quite tiring. It was brilliant how everyone just stopped and helped,” she said.
Jonathan Davison, 42, said the woman had been in pain but able to talk: “She was in a bit of shock but seemed quite compos mentis,” he said. “We were chatting with her and she was talking back.”
Jonathan DavisonShe was in a bit of shock but seemed quite compos mentis. We were chatting with her and she was talking back.
Friends of Ward Jackson Park chairman Jane Rollo said there was a problem with youngsters going into the park after closing, but people did sometimes genuinely get caught out.
“The closing times are on the gates, along with details of who to contact if you do get stuck,” she said.
“You can call the police or NES security - it is a 24-hour line. If you don’t have a phone, just shout. There are always people walking up and down the road.”
A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with the lady injured in this unfortunate incident.
“On Monday evening the gates were locked just after 8pm. It was almost one-and-a-half hours later when security staff received a call out and they arrived to find the emergency services tending to the lady. It isn’t clear why she was in the park at this particular time.
“There are signs in the park informing people of closing times and them of a number they can call.”