An ambulance worker who died after an object struck his windscreen as he was responding to a 999 emergency has been identified.
Jeremy Daw, 66, who was also known as Jack, had retired but returned to front line to “do his duty” during the Covid pandemic.
The technician had been sitting in the passenger seat of the ambulance when the object, believed to be a stone, shot through the windscreen on the A49 in Herefordshire at around 8am on Saturday.
Despite attempts to save his life by his emergency services colleagues, Mr Daw died.
The ambulance driver was also injured but has been released from hospital after receiving treatment.
West Mercia Police said the ambulance was travelling towards Leominster at the time of the incident.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Sadly, despite everyone’s best efforts, nothing could be done to save our colleague, who was the front passenger, and he was confirmed dead at the scene.
“His crewmate, the driver, was also injured in the incident. He has received treatment at hospital and has subsequently been discharged.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service emergency operations delivery director Nathan Hudson said the incident was a “tragic accident” and not believed to be “malicious”.
Mr Hudson described Mr Daw, who had 29 years experience with the ambulance service and was from Hereford, as a “remarkable character”.
“He was one of life’s good guys and he will be sorely missed in and around Hereford,” Mr Hudson said.
“Everybody knew him and he was just a genuinely nice person.
“If you speak to the staff at Hereford, what they remember is that he used to go out and clean the vehicles every morning, he would wipe the windscreens down.
“He used to do that as a matter of course. He took great pride in his work.”
Mr Hudson said Mr Daw was eight shifts away from retirement full-time, having returned “to support the trust during the pandemic” at the start of 2021.
Mr Hudson said ambulance crews had a 999 call saying one of their vehicles had been in an accident.
“About a minute after 8am we had a 999 call saying crew had been involved in an incident, whereby an object of some description had gone through and pierced the windscreen and one of the crew members were unconscious,” he said.
“The driver of the vehicle, who was also injured, was able to get out and try and help and support Jack, who was unconscious, and started life-saving treatment to try and resuscitate him.”
Mr Hudson said Mr Daw’s injuries were “incompatible with life”.
West Midlands Ambulance Service chief executive Anthony Marsh said: “This is truly awful news, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of those involved at this very difficult time.
“I am enormously proud of all the staff and the university students as part of their clinical placement that worked so hard and professionally to try to save our colleague. I am sorry that despite their best efforts, he could not be saved.”
Mr Daw’s daughter called her father “my hero” on social media.
Another friend messaged Mr Daw’s daughter and said: “I am so sorry to hear your sad news. Your dad was a great man, always had time for everyone and had a big heart. A true hero.”
West Mercia Police have launched an investigation into the cause of the incident and have urged drivers who were in the area to provide dashcam footage.
The police are now asking anyone who may have seen the incident or have dash-cam footage to contact them on 101 quoting incident 00101i of 24 April.
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