Accrington bypass crash: Police appeal after collision leaves man ‘fighting for his life’

POLICE are appealing for information after a sixth form teacher from Blackburn was seriously injured in a collision between a car and tractor on the Accrington bypass.

The incident occurred on Tuesday at around 4.35pm, on the A56 close to the junction with the M65, when a Ford Fiesta and a John Deere tractor collided.

The driver of the Fiesta, Gareth Bird, a teacher at St Mary’s Sixth Form College in Blackburn, was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

There were no passengers in the Fiesta and the driver of the tractor was uninjured.

Sergeant Phil Baxendale said: “This was a serious collision which has left a man in hospital fighting for his life and we send him our very best wishes for a full recovery.

“We have a team working hard to establish exactly what occurred and we are asking anybody with information to get in touch with us straight away.

“Perhaps you have dashcam footage that captures either the collision or captures the Fiesta or the tractor in the moments before, or maybe you witnessed something you think might be relevant.

“Whatever information you have, please tell us.”

The road was closed in both directions for several hours while emergency services, including the air ambulance along with special investigators, were called.

Long delays were caused around Accrington while traffic was diverted.

Meanwhile Mr Bird’s colleagues have said that they are hoping for a swift recovery and are keeping him and his family in their thoughts.

A college spokesperson said: “We are very shocked to learn that an important member of our St Mary’s College family, Gareth Bird, has been seriously injured in a car accident.

“We appeal for anyone that saw the accident to please contact the police.

“All of Gareth’s friends, colleagues and students here are thinking of him and his family and pray that he gets well soon.”

Police are now asking anybody who saw the collision or captured it on dashcam, and has not yet been spoken to by officers, to get in touch with them.

People can do so by calling 101, quoting log number 1024 of October 20.

The Westmorland Gazette | North Lancs