Award for Hailsham boy who rescued his father

Boy saves dad after mountain bike accident. Adrian and Owen Woods
Boy saves dad after mountain bike accident. Adrian and Owen Woods

A nine-year-old Hailsham boy who alerted emergency services after his father was horrifically injured while they were out cycling together is to receive a top national award.

The cool headed youngster, Owen Woods, of Stroma Gardens, Hailsham, has been awarded a Royal Humane Society certificate of commendation.

And he has also won the personal praise of Dick Wilkinson, secretary of the Royal Humane Society, for the action which put his father, who was unconscious, bleeding and had a broken back, into the hands of doctors as quickly as possible.

Speaking as he announced the award at the Society’s London headquarters Mr Wilkinson said: “Despite the horror of what had happened young Owen remained level headed, eased his father’s bike out from under him as he lay unconscious so that he could get the mobile phone out of the saddle bag and dial 999.

“He was a true hero. Many people a lot older than him would have gone to pieces in such a situation but he didn’t. He richly deserves the award he is to receive.”

The incident happened as father and son were riding in Friston Forest near Eastbourne on the morning of May 18 this year.

Describing what happened, Mr Wilkinson said: “They were riding on forest paths in a dense forest used by mountain bikers.

“Owen was cycling with his dad, Adrian Woods, and heard a crash behind him. He went back and found his father, who had crashed. He had gone over the handlebars and landed on some tree roots.

“He was unconscious but Owen stayed calm and carefully eased the bike from under his father so that he could retrieve the mobile phone and he then called 999 and reported the incident.

“He then heard other bikers in the woods and called to them. They came and gave first aid to Mr Woods.”

No date has yet been fixed for presentation of the award but it is expected to take place in the near future.

The roots of the Royal Humane Society stretch back more than two centuries. Its president is Princess Alexandr. It honours bravery in the saving of human life. It was founded in 1774 by William Hawes and Thomas Cogan.