Refuse collectors have been praised for their role in helping paramedics reach a seriously injured pensioner.
Emergency services were called to Whitley Road, in Whitley Bay, at 9.45am this morning (Friday) after an 87-year-old man was hit by a car.
Due to the seriousness of the head and leg injuries he suffered, the Great North Air Ambulance was called out.
However, the helicopter was unable to land due to the surrounding buildings, flying to The Links nearby where it landed next to the war memorial.
A paramedic and doctor started to walk to the scene but were able to flag down a passing North Tyneside Council bin wagon, which took them straight to the patient.
Jane Peacock, GNAAS paramedic, said: “We just thought a bin man would know the roads.
“We jumped in the front and they took us straight there. They were brilliant, we can’t thank them enough.”
After treating the patient on scene, the crew then accompanied the man to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle in a North East Ambulance Service road vehicle.
The man’s condition was described as critical on arrival.
Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “I’m immensely proud of the crew who acted quickly and calmly to help the Great North Air Ambulance service in this emergency situation.
“Our front line staff are focused on the communities that they serve and thankfully our bin crew were in the right place at the right time to rush the medical crew to the scene.
“Our thoughts are with the gentleman who was injured.”