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Home   Dartford   News   Article

South Darenth grandmother Jean Leek almost bleeds to death after flytippers block 999 crew in country lane

22 December 2013
by Thom Morris
Garden waste dumped in Roman Villa Road blocked the route of an ambulance on an emergency call

Garden waste dumped in Roman Villa Road blocked the route of an ambulance on an emergency call

A woman almost bled to death after an ambulance was left trapped in a small country road because of dumped garden waste.

Jean Leek, 74, was in the bathroom of her South Darenth home when she suffered a severe haemorrhage.

Her husband Brian, also 74, called for an ambulance - but its journey was halted by dumped garden waste.

Mr Leek said: "The tree trunks were so heavy that I couldn't lift them and so this young chap driving the ambulance had to reverse about three-quarters of a mile to get to the hospital because there's no way he'd have been able to turn round or get past.

"This was a matter of life and death and whoever dumped that caused us a nightmare."

Mrs Leek had returned home to Prince Charles Avenue after a Darent Valley Lions Club event when she fell ill.

At about 10.30pm, Mr Leek heard a scream from the bathroom and found his wife covered in blood.

The grandfather-of-four said: "I'd cooked her a small meal and she said she was going to bed. She went into the bathroom and the next thing I knew she's screaming.

"She'd had a massive bleed, and I mean massive, there was blood everywhere.

"I called an ambulance and they agreed she needed to go to hospital and they took her there by sat nav.

"It went down Roman Villa Road and a lady was driving along in her car and said we wouldn't be able to get through up ahead because there were logs and trees and garden waste dumped in the road.

"She said she'd only managed to get past by driving on the verge and she thought she was going to topple over."

An ambulance carrying patient Jean Leek got stuck on a country lane

South East Coast Ambulance Service is at the scene

The father-of-two added: "This is a regular problem down this road and unfortunately I don't know what the answer is.

"Maybe they're not making the penalty for flytipping hard enough. The ambulance driver reported it to the police and I have nothing but admiration for him."

An ambulance spokesman confirmed bushes and trees were blocking the road and it was reported to police at midnight.

What do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments belowHe said: "We're pleased that we were able to get this lady where she needed to be and we're sorry it wasn't the journey she should have expected.

"We'd like to echo Mr Leek’s comments that it is important emergency routes are kept clear – whether that be inconsiderate parking to flytipping.

"We'd like to say well done to our crews for thinking on their feet and we wish Mrs Leek all the best in her recovery."

The latest figures show fly-tipping levels this year have increased, though Dartford outperformed all other areas in Kent with its total decreasing.

The borough noted a decrease of 26.6% in cases since 2010/11 with 1,304 reported incidents, down from 1,777.

Dartford council leader Jeremy Kite

Dartford council leader Jeremy Kite

Dartford council leader Cllr Jeremy Kite said: "This just goes to show these are not victimless crimes, and we do regard them as crimes.

"When they are reported to us, we don't just clear the roads, we investigate them. This person has affected a medical emergency and that will be on their conscience now."

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the fines for fly tipping can be as high as £20,000.

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