Docbike: Life-saving legacy of Staffordshire policeman
Written by The Newsroom on January 25, 2020
A family has raised thousands for a life-saving motorbike in memory of a police officer who died in a crash.
Luke Van de Sande, 28, was killed when when his bike left the road and hit a tree in Staffordshire.
His family is fundraising for a DocBike, to be ridden by volunteers who will deliver emergency roadside care and point riders to training sessions.
“We just don’t want anyone else to go through this,” said his mother Carol Close.
Mr Van de Sande, of Trentham, who served with Staffordshire Police, crashed in Cold Meece, near Stone, last August.
“He was so happy, mischievous and fun….Even on the darkest of days he could lift the spirits of anybody,” Ms Close added.
The Luke’s Legacy fund has so far raised £9,000 for the DocBike charity, and Staffordshire Police, who said Mr Van de Sande was “greatly missed”, have donated a decommissioned motorbike.
It will be the first time DocBike has expanded outside Dorset, where it started in 2013, with further vehicles planned for Northamptonshire and Yorkshire.
“When motorcyclists are involved in high speed collisions it’s often too late,” said charity founder and intensive care consultant Dr Ian Mew.
“We try and make them aware of why motorcyclists get knocked off their bikes and make sure it doesn’t happen to them,” he added.
DocBikes are equipped to provide roadside care in an emergency, but must be ridden by clinicians with advanced motorcycle training.
According to DfT figures, 354 motorcyclists died in 2018, accounting for 20% of road user fatalities.
Dr Mew estimates his scheme could save 250 lives a year if rolled out nationwide.
A further £15-20,000 needs to be raised to equip the Staffordshire bike before it can be used.
Midlands Air Ambulance said it was talking to DocBike but was not yet in a position to provide clinicians.
West Midlands Ambulance service (WMAS) said it was not aware of any advanced clinicians with the necessary motorcycle training but would be happy to look at the practicalities if that changed.
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Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via BBC Stoke and Staffordshire