A MOTORCYCLIST involved in a serious crash while out riding with his son has thanked the critical care team from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) for their help.

Pete Holland, 67, from Hexham, Northumberland, was riding along the A68, in County Durham, last May, with his son Jim Holland when he unexpectedly came off his motorbike.

He said: “We were going round a slight bend, not very fast, not particularly sharp. I can remember seeing the gravel, and then the long grass, and thinking ‘oh dear’, and then it was bang.

“Not much of a recollection then, until I could hear the aircraft arriving and I thought oh that must be serious if they’ve brought the helicopter for me.”

Mr Holland was assessed and treated by the GNAAS paramedic and doctor team before being airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle for surgery.

He said: “Next thing I knew I was in the RVI waking up to be told that I’d been 12 hours in surgery and that I’d got a multiple fracture on my clavicle, ten broken ribs, a crushed vertebra, a multiple fracture on my right fib and tib and was very lucky apparently to have saved my leg.”

Mr Holland spent four weeks in the RVI.

He said: “I was greatly relieved that they turned up for me. Prompt reaction, expert in their field, got me to the right place at the right time, where again expert staff took over me at the RVI and took great care. Just wonderful.”

Since the incident, Jim and Mr Holland’s daughters-in-law Kristina Rodney and Shonah Holland have ran the Kielder Half Marathon to raise money for GNAAS.

To add to the challenge, Jim decided to run with a backpack weighing 15kg, and in total they raised £782 for the charity.

  • Last year GNAAS was called out 1062 times and needed to raise £5.1m. To find out how you can help, please visit gnaas.com or call 01325-487263.