Incident 35/2013

As described below, with the team on exercise this evening, at circa 21.00hrs, team friend (Who photographs many of our bigger exercises) Carl Silver contacted our Team Leader, requesting the teams help, to extricate his car from an icy stretch of the moorland road of Edge Lane in the Walker Fold area, overlooking Smithills.

Deputy Team Leader Geoff Seddon in his 4×4 kindly went to Carl’s assistance, and with tow rope, pushing and guidance Carl was returned, car intact, to safer road conditions.

At circa 21.10hrs, team members Paul Brain and Neil Aspinall, at Hordern Stoops acting as our ‘Exercise Control’ were then approached by a group of youths in a car, stating that another car nearby with three occupants had skidded off the moorland road of Rivington Road and then rolled over down the adjoining hillside.

Neil immediately informed our Team Leader on Winter Hill, taking part in the hill exercise, who then suspended the exercise, and all members made their way quickly down the steep hillside back to collect our vehicles, to render assistance.

Neil went directly to the nearby accident site, and quickly established that the three occupants of the vehicle (Aged 20, 21 and 22, all from Bolton) were apparently unharmed, despite their skid / crash off the road.

However the road conditions were now treacherous, with both black ice and visible ‘white ice’ making driving very hazardous.

Neil reported the accident to Lancashire Constabulary, whilst it was agreed with the Police that team members on the exercise, including a Doctor (Richard Moss) and an A&E Nurse (Alistair Greenough) would check over the two female and one male occupants of the car, just in case an Ambulance was required (Which was not thankfully the case)


Neil was then recontacted by Police, informing him of another nearby RTC, again a car skidded on ice, stating that Police Officers were en route.

We despatched to this our BM2 vehicle, with team members Ken Oakes, David Crawford and John Dickinson, who arrived on scene, just outside Abbey Village, at 21.50hrs, to discover a car had skidded, badly damaging the front of the vehicle but luckily the young male driver was uninjured.

An NWAS (Lancashire) Emergency Ambulance was already on scene, but soon departed given that the driver was uninjured.

The car was however blocking the carriageway, and our BM2 crew remained on scene, warning other road users until Police arrived at 22.05hrs, with BM2 finally leaving the scene at 22.20hrs.

Meanwhile back at the other RTC at Rivington Road, team members in one of our Land Rovers ferried a responding Lancashire Constabulary Traffic Officer from Hordern Stoops to the accident scene, as it was too icy for the Officer to continue in his patrol car.

A local Authority Highways Officer also now attended, due to reports of black ice on this high moorland road, and arranged for a gritting lorry to attend.
The three occupants from the badly damaged car were ferried down to Belmont Village in a Team Land Rover, to be collected by friends.

Meanwhile due to the hazardous nature of the road surface, Lancashire Constabulary decided to close the moorland road between Rivington and Belmont completely until the gritting lorry could attend.

A Police Patrol Car formed a road block at the Rivington end, whilst the team were requested by Police to maintain a road block at the Belmont end, which we did up to stand down by Lancashire Constabulary at 23.55hrs.

Late this evening (Wednesday 6th February) the following was kindly tweeted by Carl Silver … “A big BIG thank you to Bolton MRT for their assistance tonight!”

On Thursday 7th February, team member Ged Clarke, (Who was present on the incident on Rivington Road) in his capacity as a staff member at Bolton University, reported he had received the following kind communication from one of the two young women involved in this accident, who also happens to be one of Ged’s pupils at the University;

“Hi Ged, I realised that you were a mountain ranger (Webmaster; mountain rescuer) after one of your colleagues mentioned your name through the radio and realised that you’re one of my lecturers . I was in that accident tonight near Belmont Road, and I just want to thank you for yours and your colleagues work tonight as you guys were really helpful. Thanks again.”