Pensioner who ‘died’ in Portsmouth crash praises his lifesavers

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  • Daughter says 74-year-old Robert Davies ‘died’ at the wheel before crashing
  • But the pensioner has lived thanks to rescuers who brought him back to life
  • Woman, 20, gave CPR for incredible 10 minutes before ambulance arrived
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A PENSIONER who ‘died’ after blacking out and crashing his car has praised three passers-by who saved him.

Robert Davies, 74, was driving along Winston Churchill Avenue when he suffered a heart attack and crashed into railings.

Robert Davies' car after the crash

Robert Davies' car after the crash

His lips were turning blue when Layla Appleton gave him CPR. This was after Neil Tidy helped pull him out of his car when a builder smashed a window with a hammer to get in as the doors were locked.

Layla, 20, gave CPR for 10 minutes after Neil and the builder rescued Mr Davies from his car – moments after the wheels were still spinning.

Speaking to The News, Mr Davies said: ‘They should all have an award, I think they’re all amazing.’

Mr Davies, of Old Portsmouth, is suffering from short-term memory loss and is in the cardiology department at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

They should all have an award, I think they’re all amazing

Robert Davies

The grandfather-of-three’s daughter Charlotte Waters added: ‘They did something without even thinking and saved a man’s life.

‘We’re incredibly grateful for that and my father is incredibly grateful as well.

‘He was actually dead when he hit the rails, they really did save his life.

‘He came off the roundabout and had already died.

Robert Davies

Robert Davies

‘Layla managed to crack a few ribs so she did it well.’

The crash happened at about 7.30pm in Portsmouth on bank holiday Monday.

Layla, a trained first aider and former ward clerk, said she was on her way to town from work at vape shop Steamachine in Elm Grove, Southsea.

‘He was blue around the mouth, we really needed to get him out as he was unresponsive,’ she said. ‘We got him on the floor and put him in the recovery position.’

Layla Appleton gave CPR to Robert Davies after his car crash at the weekend 'Picture: Allan Hutchings (160423-071)

Layla Appleton gave CPR to Robert Davies after his car crash at the weekend 'Picture: Allan Hutchings (160423-071)

Layla, of Colesbourne Road, Paulsgrove, called 999 and was told to put Mr Davies in the recovery position then on to his back to give CPR.

She gave him CPR for an incredible 10 minutes until the ambulance arrived.

Layla, who saw Mr Davies swerve and hit the railings, added: ‘I burst into tears, I was panicking to see if he was OK. It makes me proud, I feel a little bit in shock.

‘I feel we should be teaching CPR at school.’

Mr Davies was taken to QA Hospital by paramedics.

Neil, 45, an on-call trader for Mountjoy in Portsmouth, was heading to a job when he stopped.

Neil Tidy, 45, of Petersfield, who helped rescue Robert Davies

Neil Tidy, 45, of Petersfield, who helped rescue Robert Davies

‘He was back in his chair,’ said Neil, of Petersfield.

‘The car was up on the rail, the wheels were still spinning, we had to kill the power to the engine and assess him.

‘When his breathing started to labour that’s when we decided to remove him.

‘I was just hoping that the guy would make it.

‘I was just concentrating on giving that guy the best chance of living that we could.

‘If we did nothing he would probably have died there and then.’

He added: ‘The glory I got was from knowing that man was living, that’s all I’m interested in – I’m no hero.’

Medics are still monitoring Mr Davies but he is in a stable condition and is due to have a scan at Southampton General Hospital.