Two men have died in two separate but strikingly similar incidents on the same day when they were crushed between vehicles.
An investigation has been launched after a soldier died when he was pinned against a vehicle by a trailer on Dartmoor in Devon.
Police were called to Bracken Tor youth hostel near Okehampton, West Devon, at 9.45pm on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old, who served with 7 Theatre Logistic Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, suffered cardiac arrest after a traumatic head injury.
In an earlier incident, at 6.20pm the same day, a 27-year-old man died after he was crushed between two vehicles – a stationary Land Rover Defender and a Volkswagen Transporter van which he was loading on to a trailer in Glenholt Road in Plymouth.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said the soldier in the Dartmoor incident had been struck by an uncoupled trailer and pinned against the towing vehicle.
“The soldier, from the east Midlands area, suffered severe head and chest injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics,” the force spokesman said. “Both the towing vehicle and trailer were military items and were part of a small convoy heading towards Okehampton battle camp. Next of kin have been informed and formal identification has taken place.”
The spokesman added: “Local officers, including CID and the serious collisions investigation unit, attended the scene and began an investigation whilst in consultation with military personnel.
“The Health and Safety Executive has been informed.”
In Plymouth, passers-by who witnessed the accident told how they tried to save the man’s life.
The man, from Hull, was attempting to load the Volkswagen Transporter on to the trailer when he became trapped against his Land Rover.
Passing pedestrians and motorists told how they freed the man before using first aid in a bid to resuscitate him.
Paramedics took over and treated him for about 20 minutes at the roadside before he was taken to Derriford hospital, where he later passed away. He has yet to be named.
A supermarket delivery driver said he was one of the first on the scene and tried to help revive the casualty, along with others.
The man, who asked not to be named, said: “I was coming around the corner when I saw the man trapped between the two vehicles.
“He was stood upright against the Land Rover.
“There were two other men, one walking down the street with his girlfriend and another with his young boy.
“We pried him out from between the vehicles. We gave him CPR for three or four minutes until an ambulance, a doctor and a quick response vehicle turned up and they took over.”
Jonathan Sharpe and his
15-year-old son Cody Tanner were both early on the scene. Mr Sharpe called an ambulance while his son helped keep the road clear for the emergency services.
In another traffic incident, an elderly man was rushed to hospital yesterday wed after his car crashed on to a roundabout on the A30 in West Cornwall.
Police, fire and ambulance crews were called to the incident near Sainsbury’s, Penzance, at 3.30pm where a blue Ford Fiesta had careered on to the roundabout and into a granite block.
Firefighters removed the roof of the car to help extricate the driver, who was then transferred to the Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske, Truro. A police spokesman said the man’s injuries were “not life-changing or life-threatening”.
Diversions were set up while the man was freed. Road restrictions were lifted at about 5.30pm.