Mother talks of hard-to-watch footage of son cheating death

A MOTHER admitted it was hard to watch dramatic footage on television of the aftermath of the accident in which her then 12-year-old son cheated death.

The BBC programme Ambulance was following the paramedics when they received an emergency call to Mossley Hollins High School where pupil Alex Tandy had crashed through a glass panel on a walkway and fallen 30 feet to the ground.

After hearing a paramedic on film describing Alex, who lives in Mossley, as the “luckiest boy in England”, mum Jody said 16 months after the event it was still not easy to view.

She said: “It was not nice to watch, brought it all back and was upsetting.

“It makes you realise anyone can be taken from you in a split second.”

Jody added Alex has not watched the television programme.

“He didn’t want to watch it – he was not interested at all,” she continued.

The footage, filmed in March 2019, followed the air ambulance and two paramedic teams after they received the emergency call.

Alex was filmed being treated at the scene, parents Jody and Thomas at his side, before being taken by ambulance to hospital.

“Kids are remarkably robust – he has done well,” declared one paramedic.

Another paramedic, returning to the air ambulance, told the pilot he had just met the “luckiest boy in England”.

The pilot enquired: “What did he avoid?” to which the paramedic replied: “He avoided dying.”

And the doctor who treated Alex at the scene admitted Alex’s rucksack had undoubtedly saved his life as it cushioned his fall.

Alex, while lying on the ground, was more concerned about the whereabouts of his mobile phone than his injuries.

He sustained a broken pelvis and snapped tendons in his arm, spending 12 days in Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Mossley Hollins headteacher Stuart Marshall did not view the television programme.

“I had something else on that night but, regardless of that, I wouldn’t have watched it as I didn’t want to go through it again,” he said.

Mr Marshall admitted it was the worst moment in his 34-year teaching career.

“When you are headteacher and hear one of your students had fallen from the bridge, you obviously fear the worst,” he explained.

“It was very harrowing and a miracle Alex is still here.

“When you see Alex in school today, he is thriving, and nothing seems to faze him. He is a tough lad.

“He has a wonderful family, real Mossley folk, and he has no better family to support him.”

He added it was a coincidence the camera crew were filming that day.

Mr Marshall said he was proud of how everybody at the school behaved, students dispersed, staff who alerted the emergency services and parents who helped with one running through roses and brambles to reach Alex.

“I was worried the programme might show our school in a bad light, but that was not the case,” he said.

“Alex was leaving school happy, turned and bumped into the glass which exploded.

“There was no blame on him, his friends and the staff and, as headteacher, that was reassuring.”

Alex was nicknamed the ‘bionic boy’ as only two months after the accident he was back on his motor bike and winning a race – in the sport of motocross he is one of the country’s top young racers.

And, despite missing the opening race of the season, Alex went on to win the academy section Norasport British Supermoto and Superlite Championship only eight months after cheating death.

Alex, who had his own quad bike from an early age, saved money to buy his own 85cc bike which he initially rode in the fields at the family farm.

But his hobby was taken to a new level after his dad Thomas took Alex to watch his friend Keith Edwards racing.

Alex’s parents then bought him an 85cc racing bike and he began competing part way through the 2018 campaign.

Alex, whose dream is to become a professional racer, is trained and mentored by Keith.

• Mr Marshall described the “frustration” of the lengthy battle over the safety of glass at the school.

He explained: “Every Health and Safety report said the glass met all British standards and had been tested to the 10th degree.

“But I argued how safe can it be when a student fell through it.”

Mr Marshall added glass on the bridge has been renewed and extra safety rails installed.
“It is strong enough to stop the Army,” he mused.

And much of the glass inside the building is to be replaced this summer – temporary safety barriers had been in place to provide added protection since the accident.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *