Father of two-year-old boy who survived camping crash horror when car travelling at ’80mph’ smashed into family’s tent has hip crushed – but £25 travel cot saved his son’s life
- Dan Staniforth’s hip was crushed by a car as it ploughed into Newgale Campsite
- Partner Emma Lou Lewis treated for burns after being struck by hot exhaust
- The couple’s toddler Sonny, two, was unscathed after travel cot protected him
A dad who was struck by a car that ploughed into a tent ‘at 80mph’ where his baby was sleeping had his hip crushed in the horrific smash.
Dan Staniforth has been given an operation on his hip after the blue Ford Fiesta came off the road and struck campers at Newgale Campsite in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
The dad and keen surfer, 44, suffered life-changing injuries and was airlifted to hospital following the crash, while his partner Emma Lou Lewis has been treated for burns after being struck by the car’s roasting exhaust pipe.
Mr Staniforth’s two-year-old toddler Sonny was sleeping in a £25 travel cot that has been credited with saving the youngster’s life.
Witnesses described the carnage as the hatchback was ‘catapulted from the road’, landing ‘about 100m’ (328ft) from where it had started to brake as the occupants screamed.
Dan Staniforth was next to the tent where his two-year-old boy Sonny was fast asleep when a speeding car crashed into them. His partner Emma Lou Lewis was treated in hospital
Investigators were pictured at the site of the crash in the Newgale Campsite in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Emergency services were called to the scene at around 10.40pm on Saturday
A car appeared to be travelling ‘up to three times the speed limit’ when it ploughed into a family’s tent and injured nine campers, it was claimed last night
Sonny’s parents were socialising with other campers at a tent just ten feet away when the Fiesta, said to have seven people inside, crashed into them.
Following the smash, Mr Staniforth’s mum Gillian wrote on social media: ‘Dan had an operation this afternoon and [is] now in a ward and next to his good friend who was airlifted to the hospital.
‘We are hoping he will make a full recovery and Emma has to have a skin graft on her back which got burnt by the exhaust pipe as the car was on top of her.
‘We reckon they will both a good recovery in time.’
Mr Stainforth was flown by Coastguard helicopter 100 miles to the University Hospital of Wales where he had surgery.
His family, who run a catering supply business in the Welsh capital, are at his bedside.
Another eight casualties were taken to hospital in Haverfordwest, Carmarthen and Swansea.
A GoFundMe page has been established to support the victims of the crash, which has raised over £2,000 to date.
A shattered wing mirror at the site of the crash in Pembrokeshire
Mike Harris, (pictured) who runs the campsite with his wife Clare, claimed the Ford was going ’80 or 90mph in a 30mph’ zone
Mr Staniforth, 44, a keen surfer, suffered life-changing injuries and was airlifted to hospital where he is in a serious condition
Police are continuing to make enquiries into the incident, and say no one has been arrested.
Friends claim the young driver at the wheel of the Ford had passed his test 10 days before the crash and may have been driving at speeds in excess of 80mph in the moments before the incident.
The vehicle flattened a tent as it bounded into the campsite, rolling over and striking people while campers screamed in terror.
Camper Glen Mills, 48, told WalesOnline: ‘We heard the commotion and heard the car skid and go over. I’ve run over as people are running across the field with their torches on.
‘When I got there the car was on its wheels and the guy was underneath it with his legs sticking out. So instantly, I grabbed the front wing of the car and was screaming at people to help me lift it.
‘They dragged him out from underneath the car after we’d lifted it on to its side. I then dropped to my knees next to him and put my hand on his head.
‘I was thinking “Is he alive, is he alive?” But he was moaning so we knew he was alive.
‘There were other people there – I’m not a doctor or anything so I just left them to it.’
Holidaymakers had gathered to socialise outside when horrified staff heard ‘screaming’ at Newgale Campsite, which borders the A487 in Pembrokeshire, west Wales
He added: ‘It was carnage. You wouldn’t believe it. It was like somebody had set a little bomb off.
‘There was stuff everywhere like broken seats and blood and people screaming. There was a woman screaming for her baby.
‘There was a chap sat on the floor with blood pouring out of his head. There were a couple women tending to him.’
Fern Wilson and Joshua Tam were staying at the campsite at the time of the crash.
Mr Tam, a firefighter, said: ‘We were setting up a space where we could treat the people. I helped, I ran over there. There were three or four people already doing it.
‘I got there because I’m a firefighter so I was just trying to help do what I could.’
Ms Wilson said: ‘We heard the crash pretty much as it happened. Everyone got there pretty quick. Joshua helped move the car over.
‘There was a little girl that got hurt and, obviously, there was a lot of young kids in the car even.
‘I mean they were all young girls and they were pretty much in shock, so they were crying and screaming as well. I think that was the scariest thing.
‘A lot of people came to help. There was a lot of first aiders around the camp. There was a nurse that was on site, so everyone managed to help them pretty quickly.
‘It was scary but everyone pulled in to help, which was really great to see.’
The A487 road between Roch and St Davids on the western Welsh coast was closed overnight while investigations took place. The cordon was lifted on Sunday morning
A Coastguard rescue helicopter was called to the scene to assist with airlifting Mr Staniford to hospital. He was transferred into the care of paramedics before being transported to Cardiff
Other campers at the scene claimed three passengers in the car ran off leaving the driver trapped inside the wreckage.
Campsite owner Mike Harris has given CCTV of the crash to police.
He said: ‘The car literally came onto the campsite rolled over the tent and landed on top of a family who were enjoying themselves.
‘It was the same family who had a baby in the tent at the time. So the immediate concern for everybody was what happened to the baby?
‘When they went into the tent, the cot was there and it had managed to protect the baby which is a miracle.’
Mr Harris later told Sky News that he believes the car was going about three times the speed limit when it struck the tent.
‘I didn’t realise a car could go so fast down the road,’ he said.
He alleged the Ford was going ’80 or 90mph in a 30mph’ zone and that the vehicle ‘catapulted from the road because of the speed’ at which the driver was going.
‘It catapulted from the road because of the speed he was going, over the ditch separating the campsite and main road and landed about 100m from where the driver started braking,’ Mr Harris claimed.
Flowers have been left at the scene of the crash, where a huge divot has been carved out of a grass verge where the car is understood to have come off of the road
Newgale Campsite owner Mike Harris with some of the tents that were removed from the scene following the horrific crash on Saturday
‘It turned three full turns and landed on its wheels. It rolled through a tent belonging to a family.
‘The vehicle then rolled and rested on top of three people. The campers managed to lift the vehicle 90 degrees to tilt it forward and rest on its side. They freed the three people.’
The crash occurred on Saturday night on the A487, which has a 60mph speed limit that halves to 30mph near the entrance to the holiday park.
READ MORE: Father crushed by a car which smashed into tent where his baby was sleeping ‘at 80mph’ as witness claims teenagers in vehicle were ‘screaming’ and driver had ‘only passed his test ten days ago’
Three people remain in hospital following the incident at the accident blackspot.
Dyfed-Powys Police has asked the public to refrain from speculating on the cause of the crash while it continues to make enquiries.
In a statement, the force said: ‘Dyfed-Powys Police is continuing to investigate the incident which occurred in Newgale on Saturday evening, 12th August 2023.
‘Three people currently remain in hospital. No arrests have been made at this time.
‘We are aware of the considerable amount of interest in this incident which is understandable.
‘The investigation team continues to engage with witnesses to establish the full circumstances of what happened.’
Peter Morgan, councillor for Newgale, said: ‘It’s a miracle no one was killed – the car must have been going at speed to fly off the road and hit the tent.
‘There were two surgeons and other medics camping on the site so they ran to help and may have saved lives.
‘It’s a well run camp site and very popular with families and surfers at this time of year.’
Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting reference DP-20230812-402. Tips can also be passed on anonymously via Crimestoppers.
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