Milnsbridge ‘hit and run’ victim fighting for life – family slam West Yorkshire Police inquiry delay

A MAN is fighting for his life after he was hit by a suspected drink driver as he left his local pub.

John Gibson's ex-partner Michelle Whittall with their sons Jake (left) and John

A MAN is fighting for his life after he was hit by a suspected drink driver as he left his local pub.

John Gibson, 35, is on life support at Leeds General Infirmary, after he was struck by a car as he left The Royal pub in Milnsbridge in the early hours of Wednesday, April 4.

Now, more than ten days on, his family have hit out at apparent delays in the police investigation.

Mr Gibson’s ex-partner, Michelle Whittall, says officers failed to launch inquiries into the suspected hit and run because of the Easter bank holiday weekend – a delay of more than SIX days.

Michelle, who is mother to Mr Gibson’s two sons, Jake, 15 and John, 18, said an officer admitted to her that nothing had been done because the officer in charge of the investigation was on leave.

Meanwhile, Mr Gibson, who has two broken legs, a broken shoulder, broken ribs and a host of internal injuries, has deteriorated in hospital and has been unable to come off his ventilator.

Mr Gibson, known as Gibbie to his friends, was initially taken to HRI and then transferred to St James in Leeds.

But when he was moved to LGI the day after the incident his condition worsened.

Doctors have found he has serious internal infections and his lungs have filled up with fluid.

They have admitted to his family that they are taking it day by day.

Police have arrested a 23-year-old woman on suspicion of drink driving but she has been released on police bail.

Michelle, who split from Mr Gibson five years ago, said she was gravely concerned for him for the sake of their children.

And she said she was furious at the lengthy delay and claimed vital evidence had been lost.

She said: “He’s in a bad way, he’s critically ill and not improving.

“It’s taken them nine days to put it in the paper and appeal for witnesses.

“I’ve put a complaint in and I was told the reason why it’s taken so long is because the officer in charge finished his shift that Wednesday morning and didn’t start back until the Tuesday.

“I’d been phoning all weekend trying to get John’s house key to sort his stuff out.

“I never got a phone call back and nobody dealt with it.

“When I put a complaint in they said it’s because it’s been left on a desk for him to come back.

“He said, ‘We do work on shifts and we need to take breaks and have time off ourselves’.

John Gibson, 35 from Milnsbridge

“They said they didn’t know John was critical; but they’re not going to know anything if they haven’t looked into it from Wednesday to the following Tuesday.

“I know they haven’t contacted the hospital because they asked me how he was.

“In this time that officer’s been off they had CCTV coverage at The Royal pub – that has now been wiped over.

“I phoned the pub last Thursday and they said the police still hadn’t been down to collect any footage.

“It upset me the police put in the paper to phone Crimestoppers – they’ve had information since Wednesday last week and I know they still haven’t been out to interview this person. How can they have that inquiry sat on someone’s desk for six days while they’ve lost all these forensics?

“If someone gets away with this because it’s the bank holiday and the police couldn’t bothered it’ll be devastating.”

Michelle said the outlook for her former partner was bleak.

She added: “They’ve tried to bring him off life support but each time they do his oxygen level drops and he has a panic so they have to sedate him.

“It’s very scary for the boys, I didn’t even tell them until he was on life support because he’s not improving.

“They’ve said even if he does pull through off the ventilator he’s going to have to learn to walk again, and because he’s broken every rib, they take a while to heal.

“To take your kids to a hospital and see that, is not a nice thing for anyone, especially not for kids.

“I just want people to come forward and tell what they saw – he’s not just injured, these kids’ father is critically injured.”

A police spokesman said: The investigation into the knockdown on Scar Lane in Huddersfield is still very much active. A 23-year-old woman has been bailed pending further enquiries”.

Anyone with information can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or West Yorkshire Police via 101.

 
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