Witnesses feared Gazza was dead after horror car smash
Published 22:55 14/06/10 By Paul Byrne
Witnesses yesterday said they feared Paul Gascoigne was dead after he was pulled from a horrific car wreck with his face soaked in blood.
They rushed to help when the Vauhall Astra he was a passenger in skidded off the road and crashed into a metal taxi post at speed.
The troubled ex-England star, 43, apparently looked critical as he was dragged from the smoking car and strapped into a stretcher.
He was rushed to hospital with the woman driver and a male passenger. A fourth person – understood to be Gascoigne’s friend Michael Harvey, 40 – did not need treatment.
Student Andreas Weihs, 25, who saw the accident, said: “Gazza’s face was covered in blood. He looked really bad. There was blood everywhere.”
Another witness added: “One of the men looked in such a bad way I thought he might not make it, or even already be dead. It was a shock when I found out it was Gazza.”
Gascoigne was last night recovering from head and chest injuries at Newcastle General Hospital.
Incredibly, doctors said he was in a comfortable condition and was sitting up and chatting to visitors.
The former Newcastle and Tottenham midfielder, who has fought a long battle with alcoholism, is expected to remain under supervision for another few days. The other two crash victims have been discharged.
The 36-year-old woman driver was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and bailed pending inquiries.
Yesterday Harvey was walking with a limp as he took the day off work from his laundrette business.
Northumbria police said yesterday: “For reasons yet to be established, the car left the road and collided with a sign post.”
Witnesses said it was a miracle no one died in the crash next to Newcastle’s historic Guildhall on Sandhill at 9.45pm on Sunday.
The impact from the Vauxhall demolished a taxi rank, which is usually packed with people.
Joyce Wemyss, manager of the nearby Redhouse pub, said: “There was a massive bang and lots of people rushed out of the bar to go and help.
“The cabbies from the rank outside pulled out the driver, a woman, and laid her on the ground.
“She was lying on the pavement screaming until paramedics arrived.
“There was a man in the front seat and Gazza in the back. Luckily, it was a quiet Sunday night.
“It if had been a busy night someone could have been walking on the pavement and would have been killed.
“The front of the car was completely smashed. The car was taken away a couple of hours later and there is a big dent left in the pole.”
Barman Lloyd Roberts, 23, added: “I saw Gazza being taken from the back seat and put on to an ambulance stretcher. He was strapped in and had head support. I didn’t see him speak to anyone. He was put into the back of the ambulance and a police officer was talking to him for a little while.
“Thankfully it was a very quiet night by Newcastle standards so there weren’t many people about.”
England players last night sent their best wishes to Gazza from their World Cup HQ. FA spokesman Adrian Bevington said: “We are sorry to hear about the accident and wish him a speedy recovery. For the young players, their first World Cup memory is watching Paul Gascoigne at Italia 90, when he was such a star.”
The player’s former World Cup team-mate Gary Lineker even sent his best live on BBC1 during half-time of the Japan vs Cameroon game yesterday. He said: “Gazza, if you’re watching, we wish you well.”
Gascoigne is due to stand trial next month accused of drink driv-ing in Northallerton, North Yorks, in February. He denies the charge.