Stockcar racer Steve Newman was trapped in car for ‘25 minutes’ before anyone could attempt CPR at Mildenhall Stadium, West Row
PUBLISHED: 14:51 09 December 2014 | UPDATED: 14:51 09 December 2014
A stockcar driver was trapped in his crushed vehicle for ‘25 minutes’ before anyone could try and revive him, an inquest heard yesterday.
Top racer Steve Newman, 36, died on June 16 2012 during a saloon class British Championship final at Mildenhall Stadium, in West Row.
The ambulance crew sent to the crash were not told he had suffered cardiac arrest or that it was a racing incident by the dispatchers.
This was despite the medical team at the track passing on the information several times when phoning 999.
George Bolt Junior, 19, with eight years experience, was racing behind Mr Newman on the day.
He said: “I just remember coming round the bend and seeing Steve in mid air. I tried to stop the car then, as soon as I stopped, I got collected and we all ended up in a heap. Then there were marshals and other drivers all around.
“That is all I can remember, I just broke down, I was screaming, I was crying.”
His father, George Bolt Senior, was watching the race. He said: “He [Mr Newman] came out [of the corner] he hit the fence and then just rolled.
“I have seen crashes 20 times worse than that was and they walked away with a scratch on their hand.
“George [Bolt Junior] was jumping around and waving his hands, I knew something wasn’t right.”
Mr Newman, who worked as a fabricator and lived in Boston, Lincolnshire, died from a traumatic head injury.
East of England Ambulance Service paramedic Benjamin Hazelwood was dispatched to the scene with an emergency medical technician.
At the time he was a student paramedic and was called at 10.44pm, five minutes after the first 999 call.
He said: “On this occasion we were not given more detail. All we received was [that it was] a traffic incident.
“We did not receive any information that it was an unresponsive patient. We did not receive any information that it was a cardiac arrest.”
Mr Hazelwood said he was not aware it was a racing incident until he arrived at 11.04pm.
Martin Hunter, a solicitor representing RDC promotions, which runs the track, asked: “It was recorded as a respiratory arrest [in the call log]. That information was not passed to you?”
Mr Hazelwood responded: “We were not passed any prior details about the cardiac arrest. I would have thought it would have been policy to pass on that information.”
Following the crash, Mr Newman’s car was rolled upright, with private medical staff at first feeling a slight pulse.
Once the car was righted, cutting equipment was used to free Mr Newman, whose car roof had caved in, trapping his head.
Kenneth Sell, a paramedic of 20 years experience, was hired by the track owners on that night.
With five years working at similar events, he said: “I have seen cars turn over before.
It was definitely a freak accident.”
Witnesses described about 25 minutes from the crash to Mr Newman being taken into an ambulance to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
It was found that he no longer had any pulse, and his heart had flat-lined, meaning defibrillation, shocking the heart, would not work.
Mr Newman was declared dead at 11.35pm. The hearing, in Bury St Edmunds, is due to last until tomorrow.