Published on: 30 January 2024

A doctor who stopped at the scene of a crash has been praised for her quick-thinking actions to help treat a seriously injured motorcyclist.

Martha Clarkson-Cox has been praised for helping a motorcyclist who was injured in a collision..JPGMartha Clarkson-Cox was on the A690 at West Rainton following a shift at Sunderland Royal Hospital when she came across the aftermath of a road traffic collision which had happened just seconds earlier.

The rider had been on a BMW motorbike when it was involved in a collision with a Ford Focus.

Martha was second on the scene, helping lead an assessment while another woman rang 999, with others also pulling over to help.

The Senior House Officer was able to relay information to the emergency services through the caller.

Using kit she had in her bag and dressings handed to her by a roadside assistance driver, they were able to start treatment on the rider, who sustained life-changing injuries.

The Good Samaritans were then helped by a consultant who also works for South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and had pulled over. Between them, the group were able to comfort the man following his ordeal.

Martha continued to support a first responder and a crew from the North East Ambulance Service and a road crew from the Great North Air Ambulance.

She helped them transfer him into an ambulance and he was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary for treatment.

After the event, the consultant colleague relayed Martha’s efforts Executive Medical Director Dr Shaz Wahid, who has since sent her words of commendation for her efforts.


Martha works on B20, a short stay acute ward which cares for emergency medical admissions, through NHS Professionals. She completed her two foundation years with the Trust.

She said:

"I saw there had been a crash and a motorcyclist was on the road, so I stopped and ran over.

"I think it had only happened about 20 seconds before I came across it.

"It was freezing and after about 10 minutes, we heard sirens and a first responder arrived. By then I’d been able to have a look at his injuries and we’d worked with what we had to hand to help.

"I took observations and gained access while a first responder was able to assess his injuries before the ambulance and a Great North Air Ambulance Service road team arrived.

"In those moments, I was really grateful I was a doctor and was able to use my training and what I’d learned to get in there and do something to help."

Dr Wahid said:

"When I heard about what Martha had done to help, I wanted to get in touch with her to let her know how proud I was about her actions.

"She was able to use her experience and training to help someone in their time of need and worked together with others to care for this man.

"I know from our colleague who was also on hand she was able to keep cool, was in control and did a good job of keeping the motorcyclist calm during what must have been a very frightening time for him.

"Working in healthcare is more than just working your shift, it’s a vocation and a calling to help others. Martha is a credit to the NHS."

Head of Operations for NEAS, Shane Woodhouse said:

"Bystander intervention can be crucial when the right skills are available. 

"In this incident, bystanders were NHS colleagues and were able to take observations and administer basic care before our crew arrived. 

"The Good Samaritans played a big part in the care for this patient while we were on our way and was reassuring to know that the patient was receiving a high level of care before we arrived at the scene.

"Even knowing basic CPR can have a huge impact on patient care during incidents like this one.”

Durham Constabulary is investigating the collision, which happened at around 5pm on Tuesday, December 19.

It has appealed to anyone who witnessed the incident to contact PC Ian Murphy via quoting incident number 308 of December 19.