UNISON and Thompson's solicitors have won £62,856 compensation for a North East Ambulance Service paramedic who was injured after a van driver overshot a red light and collided with his ambulance. David Fenwick, 55, of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, suffered a serious shoulder injury that required two operations, when the van crashed into the ambulance at the traffic lights of Barnes Giratory System, Sunderland.

At the time of the accident in June 2005, Mr Fenwick was in the passenger seat of the ambulance which was driving through a green light. As it approached the junction, a van sped through a red light and crashed into the ambulance, throwing Mr Fenwick to the left.

Mr Fenwick was forced to take time off work, and when eventually he did return to work was put on light duties. As well as suffering pain, the injury prevented him from carrying out everyday tasks, such as household chores and decorating.

Road Accident could have been fatal

Commenting on the incident, Mr Fenwick said: “Thankfully I was wearing my seatbelt so the injury wasn’t as bad as it might have been. Even so, it was a huge shock, even in my profession, and highlights the dangers of running a red light. The driver of the van could have killed himself as well as others.”

Liz Twist, UNISON Head of Health, Northern region, said: "Reckless driving caused pain and injury to a man who spent his working life caring for others. I am pleased that UNISON was able to help gain compensation for David, but I am sure he would far rather have the full use of his arm than any amount of money."

Mr Fenwick’s representative at Thompsons Solicitors, Michelle Reid-Mitchell, said: “Mr Fenwick’s injury was not as bad as first thought. However, he was in a lot of pain and we were not happy with the initial diagnosis. Further medical investigation revealed the true extent of Mr Fenwick’s injury for which he has now been properly compensated.”