Ambulance struggled to get dying Derbyshire grandad to hospital- due to cars parked on double yellow lines

David O'Connor at Byron Street in Ilkeston.
David O'Connor at Byron Street in Ilkeston.

A Derbyshire grandad says he 'could have died' after illegally parked cars blocked the ambulance taking him to hospital.

David O'Connor, of Byron Street in Ilkeston, started to feel poorly on Sunday, February 3 at around 2pm when he began 'shaking like a leaf' and his lips turned blue.

His daughter, Sharon, quickly telephoned for an ambulance which was logged as a life-threatening emergency.

Paramedics diagnosed David, 87, with severe pneumonia and told the former bus conductor they had to get him to Derby Royal Hospital 'as soon as possible' and it was a 'matter of life and death'.

But the vehicle took 'four times the amount of time it should have' to turn round on Byron Street, a one-way street, due to cars parked on double yellow lines.

David said: "The street was lined with cars and the ambulance couldn't turn round.

"If a car had come out in front of us, we would have been blocked in and I wouldn't have got to the hospital in time. It doesn't bear thinking about."

Arriving at hospital, David slept for ten hours after falling unconscious. He is now back home, but doctors estimate it will take around eight months for him to recover.

David said: "I've lived on Byron Street, in the same house, for 63 years- this problem has been ongoing for six.

"Myself and many other residents have pleaded with the county council to do something but cars still park illegally, restricting access.

"We are talking about human life here. It's only a matter of time before this happens again and the next time that person might not be as lucky as I was."

David's daughter, Sharon O'Connor, said: "This is something that is causing people on this street a lot of grief.

"It's not just what happened to my dad. Three years ago, when my mum was dying and receiving treatment at home, vehicles often struggled to get to the house because of the same issue.

"Something needs to be done, it just cannot go on."

A spokesman for East Midlands Ambulance Service urged motorists to 'think carefully' about how they park.

A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said: "There are no emergency vehicle bays on this street but we are aware of issues with cars parking on the double yellow lines at the top of Byron Street.

"Our enforcement contractor patrolled Byron Street last week and they didn’t witness any illegal parking on that occasion.

"However, we will ask for them to attend again to continue monitoring the situation."