Teamwork between police and residents helped to save HGV driver after M60 crash

TWO policemen who helped a HGV driver when he suffered a heart attack on the M60 and crashed have praised the “team effort” between police and members of the public as they helped to save his life. Shane Sharkey was behind the wheel of a HGV tractor unit when it veered from the slow lane into a barrier and then swerved across the road before crashing into the central reservation, emptying its contents on the motorway. Miraculously, the unit avoided hitting any vehicles but Shane had suffered a heart attack and cardiac arrest and needed urgent medical attention.

The HGV tractor unit crashes into the central reservation of the M60 Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officers, PC Chris Pixton and PC Patrick Geoghegan-Shaw, soon came across the collision on their route.

The two officers stopped and ran over to the scene. PC Pixton pulled Mr Sharkey, who was unresponsive, out of the HGV which was now smoking. PC Pixton, alongside brave Westhoughton air stewardess Melanie Tonge and trained first aider, tried to revive Mr Sharkey using a defibrillator and performed CPR for at least 10 minutes.

Melanie Tonge, in the purple jacket, giving treatment to driver Shane Sharkey with the help of others PC Geoghegan-Shaw helped give first aid to the victim, as well as collecting witness details on the incident, until the ambulance service arrived to take over medical care.

Mr Sharkey, from Chorley, was taken to Salford Royal Hospital in a critical condition but he is now making a steady recovery at home. A third GMP officer, PC Nicola Greenhalgh, part of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU), attended the hospital to get updates on the victim and while there, supported the victim’s partner who due to covid-19 had to attend the hospital alone. The crash happened at around 8pm on Thursday, July 9 just past junction 13.

Teamwork between police and residents helped to save HGV driver after M60 crash PC Pixton, PC Geoghegan-Shaw, PC Greenhalgh and HGV driver Shane Sharkey PC Chris Pixton said: “I’m delighted that Shane is now on the road to recovery with the support of his partner.

“Responding to the incident truly was a team effort between the brave members of public and all the emergency services, who came together to ensure the scene was made safe and administer life-saving care. “This is no doubt one of those defining moments in my job that will stay with me and I’m thankful that we could make a difference. “I am also thankful for the additional training of the medic role, as without it I wouldn’t have been able to act as I did, or have been in possession of the kit that I had.”

The force has heaped praised on the actions of its officers. Superintendent Richard Timson, GMP’s South Manchester District Commander, said: “This was a true act of bravery. Both officers acted swiftly and their quick thinking saved the driver of the HGV.

“PC Pixton has recently completed police medical training and PC Geoghegan-Shaw is currently part-way through the course. “This incident highlights the importance of the skills officers learn on this course and I’m glad that they were both able to, in a high-pressured situation, but into practise what they had learnt. “I am proud of courage and professionalism they displayed.

“I would also like to thank the member of the public (Melanie) who also demonstrated great courage in assisting with giving Mr Sharkey first aid.

“I am pleased to hear that Mr Sharkey is making a recovery with the support of his partner Debra who wrote a letter of thanks to all the officers involved expressing her gratitude for their actions. ”

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