Preston man trapped under van after tackling thief

A Preston man was trapped under his van after apparently trying to stop a thief stealing it.

Sunday, 4th June 2017, 2:50 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:28 pm
Police cordon off Blairmore Drive, Bolton after a man was trapped under a van
Photo: Bolton News
Police cordon off Blairmore Drive, Bolton after a man was trapped under a van Photo: Bolton News

Paul Swindells, 24, was working for sign company Countrywide Signs on Erskine Close, just off Blairmore Drive at around 12.50pm yesterday when it is believed he heard somebody getting into the driver’s seat of his van.

Paul, who lives in Walton-le-Dale and plays drums for the band Dennis Delight, was run over and trapped under the vehicle after running out into the road.

Firefighters spent half an hour freeing him from the van.

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Paul Swindells of Dennis Delight. He was injured when trapped under a van in Bolton

He was treated at the scene by paramedics for several injuries and was airlifted to Royal Preston Hospital, where he remains in intensive care.

Friend and Dennis Delight lead singer Frank Halliwell said: “He’s going to be out of action for quite a while. He had an operation last night to remove some screws that he was carrying that went into his body.

“They ran over him two or three times.

“He heard the van going and he jumped into the passenger seat and hung onto the door, and then he went under the van, and they reversed over him.

Dennis Delight at a gig in Preston. Paul Swindells plays drums

“He has got a damaged pelvis and broken ribs. He is going to need several skin grafts.

“He’s in intensive care, but he’s awake and talking.”

Jane Bickerstaffe, director of Countrywide Signs Preston, said: “I cannot believe such an incident has happened. Who in their right mind would do this? I am lost for words.

“He is in a serious condition but I understand that he is stable.

Paul Swindells of Dennis Delight. He was injured when trapped under a van in Bolton

“We are in talks with his family. They’re as shocked as I am.

“We are wishing him a speedy recovering and are working with his family about what we can do to support him.”

Bolton fire station watch manager Ian Ainsworth said: “Because of the patient’s suspected injuries we had to find a controlled way of lifting the van up to a height were he could safely be moved.

“It took us half an hour to lift it and he was conscious at the scene.”

Dennis Delight at a gig in Preston. Paul Swindells plays drums

An investigation into the incident is ongoing. Anyone with information can call police on 101.