Retired police officer’s epic walk to thank ambulance staff who saved him after horror crash

Mel Brunskill from Billinge is preparing to hike 134 miles to raise funds for an Air Ambulance charity, to say thank you after they helped him after a motorbike crash
Mel Brunskill from Billinge is preparing to hike 134 miles to raise funds for an Air Ambulance charity, to say thank you after they helped him after a motorbike crash

A Billinge man is taking on an epic charity walk in aid of the medics who saved his life after an horrific motorway smash.

Mel Brunskill wants to repay the kindness of the North West Air Ambulance (NWAA) crew who airlifted him to hospital after they came to his aid three years ago.

The 59-year-old will walk 134 miles from Nantwich, Cheshire, to Millom in Cumbria, the most northerly and southerly points covered by the NWAA, to raise much needed funds for the rapid-response medical charity.

The 59-year-old was on his way to Plymouth on the M6 on the morning of June 20, 2014. He was travelling behind slow moving traffic when a car ploughed into the back of his motorcycle at 70mph.

After being hurled into the air, he bounced off a crash barrier and eventually came to rest in the central reservation, his head resting inches away from the fast lane of the northbound carriageway.

“I could feel blood trickling down my right hand side,” said Mel.

“I didn’t dare to move in case I has broken any bones. I feared I had spinal injuries.”

As the traffic had now come to a stand still in both directions, Mel had to be airlifted to South Liverpool hospital,

Mel, a retired police officer, fortunately only suffered minor injuries, but experts agreed the Billinge man might not be here today without the help of the Air Ambulance service. Mel said: “According to the police, paramedics and hospital surgeons, I should have died, or been more seriously injured.

“That was a sobering thought.”

And now Mel is going the extra mile to repay the debt he feels he owes the North West Air Ambulance.

“I never realised that the Air Ambulance was a charity, or that they’re not funded by the government.

“I was staggered, so it was on my mind to do some fund-raising for them.”

A serial volunteer, Mel devotes his spare time to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), visiting local schools and youth groups to teach them about the dangers of open waters.

Having done epic charity walks in the past, including a 630 mile trek in March along the South West coast for the RNLI, Mel decided to take on the walking challenge.

Mel said: “They were there for me - they will be there for you too, should you or your loved ones need to get to a hospital in a life-saving emergency and much faster than a normal ambulance could do so.”

To donate to Mel’s cause, visit justgiving.com/mel-brunskill.

For more information about the North West Air Ambulance charity, visit nwaa.net.w