Police volunteer hailed a hero after saving livestock trapped in overturned lorry

Michael cleared an airway for the animals while he waited for help Credit: Northumbria Police

A police volunteer has been hailed as a community hero after saving the lives of several livestock who had become trapped in an overturned lorry.

Special constable Michael Scott was on duty in rural Northumberland when police received a report of an overturned vehicle at 10.15pm on Monday night.

He attended the scene on the A69 near to the junction with Haltwhistle and found a lorry carrying livestock had fallen onto its side - trapping 30 lambs, 25 cows and nine ewes inside.

Michael quickly made sure the driver was okay and after establishing they were not seriously injured he turned his attention to the distressed livestock.

He quickly opened up air vents to allow an airflow into the vehicle before physically moving the animals along their pen to prevent them from crushing one another.

Emergency support arrived on scene and vets, assisted by Northumberland Fire and Rescue, were able to safely release the animals and check their welfare.

However, not all the animals involved in the incident could be saved; three cows died as a result of what happened.

Chief Inspector Neil Hall, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a fantastic piece of work by Michael and we are all very proud of his efforts.

“He went above and beyond by climbing on top of the lorry to do anything he could to try to save the livestock until further support could arrive.

“It was on a busy carriageway in the dead of night and so releasing all the animals was not an option but his actions have certainly prevented many more deaths.

The animals were distressed and Michael helped calm them down and co-ordinate an emergency response that would see them brought to safety. He finished his tour of duty covered in mud and smelling of livestock but he did an amazing job and deserves immense credit for going above and beyond.

Chief Inspector Neil Hall

Michael has volunteered as a Special Constable for 36 years but spends his day looking after livestock, farming land and working on tractors.

He was presented with a Chief Constable’s Commendation last year for his long career at the Force that has seen him tackle a raging bull at a County Show, deliver calves and locate missing people deep in the hills of Northumberland.

Michael, a voluntary Special Constable, has been hailed as a hero for his actions Credit: Northumbria Police

The 59-year-old says he loves volunteering as a Special Constable and that jobs like the one he attended this week gives him an opportunity to give back to the region he loves.

Michael said: “I was first at the scene and I have experience with livestock so I knew the first thing I needed to do was open all the air vents on the lorry.

The sheep were in a big pile and they had just frozen because they were so scared so initially I just tried to get them moving because if they didn’t then some of them would suffocate.

Michael Scott

“I used my truncheon to bang the lorry and startle them into moving which seemed to work and then I did the same with the cattle.

“It was a long and lengthy recovery that lasted a few hours but it was a real team effort between ourselves, the Fire Service and the local vets.

“I was filthy at the end of it and I was sat in the bath at about 4.30am trying to clean all of the animal waste out of my hair!

“But I have been a Special Constable for a long time now and have seen a lot.

"Northumberland is my patch and I love the team, I have the bug for it so I won’t be stopping anytime soon.”