1. ITV Report

Sister's joy as motorcyclist brother is found alive

Anthony Margrave Photo: Calendar

The sister of a motorcyclist who was found seriously injured in a roadside ditch almost three days after he crashed has said it is a miracle that he is alive.

Anthony Margrave spent three nights in the open near Thorne, South Yorkshire, as a major search operation was conducted to find him.

The 40-year-old, from Goole, East Yorkshire, is now being treated at Doncaster Royal Infirmary for injuries including broken ribs and hypothermia.

His sister, Sharon Margrave, said he was not yet "out of the woods" but he was fighting to recover.

"For all of us, it has been a week of hell," she said.

"I thought he was dead, I really thought that was it. There was no other way out of it. I really thought they were looking for a body."

Ms Margrave said her sister called her to tell her the good news.

"I can't describe the feeling," she said.

"It's just a miracle that he survived for so long. I'm so proud of him and the way he's fighting now. He's not giving up at all.

"He's been so lucky."

Mr Margrave, a concrete operative, was reported missing by his girlfriend, Katie Bridgeford, on Wednesday last week after he failed to turn up for work.

He had been planning to go out riding on his bike at 4.30pm the previous day. Humberside Police launched a missing person investigation at 3.37pm on Wednesday September 12.

They discovered his new motorbike was missing and his phone had not been used in the 24 hours up to Ms Bridgeford reporting him missing.

They also found the phone had not moved from the area between Thorne and Goole which is large and sparsely populated.

Officers conducted a full two-day search of rivers, reservoirs, fields, ditches, houses, gardens and any other likely locations in the Thorne, Rawcliffe and Snaith area.

The force helicopter helped with searches of roads and ditches.

A small amount of debris from a motorbike was found at the side of the A614, just north of Thorne, on Friday September 14 at 11.20am.

Mr Margrave was found at 12.14pm, lying in water 6ft down in a ditch between East Cowick and Thorne. He was conscious and breathing.

Ms Margrave said: "He remembers heading towards the field and he remembers waking up in the ditch.

"He said he was worried because he could only move his head and his neck. He knew he had his mobile phone and his tobacco in his pocket but he couldn't move his arms to get to them. He remembers having bugs on his face but he couldn't move to get them off.

"The ditch was so deep, he and his bike were totally out of sight. He could hear cars and horses and was shouting for help but nobody came."

She added: "He did have the odd tear rolling down his cheek when he was talking to us.

"He did think nobody was going to find him. But we did find him. And he knows we love him and nobody rested until he was found."

Ms Margrave praised Humberside Police, the emergency services and Doncaster Royal Infirmary for their help.

"Humberside Police and the emergency services went beyond the call of duty," she said. "They went through it with us."

Police said they believed Mr Margrave collided with a metal signpost on the off-side of the carriageway and then travelled approximately 200m further along the carriageway before coming to rest in a ditch.

But Ms Margrave said the accident will not put her brother off his love of motorbikes.

She said: "When we told him what a mess his bike was in, he swore.

"We were telling him he was only allowed to ride a mobility scooter from now on and he said 'But I like bikes'."