Cabbie cut free after smash

The taxi and pick-up van involved in the collision at the junction of Stockton Street and Clarence Road
The taxi and pick-up van involved in the collision at the junction of Stockton Street and Clarence Road

A CABBIE was taken to hospital after being involved in a collision with a van just days after a previous crash caused traffic chaos at the same junction.

The man had to be cut out of a passing taxi he got into after his own vehicle was damaged in a crash as his back went into spasm.

A white pick-up van and a blue Citroen taxi collided at the junction of Stockton Street and Clarence Road, in Hartlepool, just after 9.30am yesterday.

It came only days after traffic lights on the same junction were out of action for almost 24 hours after being damaged in a smash involving a car and a lorry on Wednesday, November 16.

The latest collision saw both drivers get out of their vehicles and walk away. But the cab driver is said to have felt unwell and got into a white taxi that had pulled up to help.

He is then said to have gone into spasm and “froze solid”.

It took firefighters an hour to cut him free from the Renault, despite it not being involved in the smash.

Paramedics treated the man at the scene for whiplash before taking him to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, in an ambulance.

An elderly female taxi passenger was also taken to the same hospital with a sprained wrist.

The driver of the van was said to be unhurt.

Both taxis belong to Twenty3 taxis, which is based in the town’s Mainsforth Terrace.

Dave Hudson, owner of the family firm, said: “It’s a weird set of events. The pick-up was in a collision with the taxi and another of our drivers was driving behind it.

“He stopped and saw our driver get out of his car and stand in a bent position, so he offered him a seat.

“It seems that he’s then frozen solid and everyone was worried about back injuries, so they cut the seat out of the car and carried him out in it.

“Both drivers are shaken by what has happened.”

Officers from Cleveland Police’s traffic section arrived at the scene an hour after the incident to begin examining how the crash happened.

The entrance and the slip road to Clarence Road were both completely blocked for the rest of the morning while inquiries were made and the debris removed.

The dramatic scenes attracted a crowd of people who watched the fire crew use a saw to cut free a car seat so that the man could be carried out the boot of the estate car.

A spokesman for Cleveland Fire Brigade said: “The taxi driver had left his vehicle, but had got into another taxi.

“Due to him complaining of neck and back pain, he had to be cut free from that vehicle to be treated by paramedics.”

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman appealed for witnesses who have not spoken to officers to get in touch.

Contact the roads policing unit on (01642) 326326 quoting reference number U213598.

■ Follow Mail reporter mark Thompson on Twitter @MThompsonHMail