One of the owners of a Banbury garage is in a serious condition in hospital after he fell through the ceiling of his business while trying to rescue a cat.
The co-owner of Modlen Garage was airlifted to the major trauma centre at the John Radcliffe Hospital by the air ambulance, which landed at Banbury United Football Club’s ground just after kick-off on Saturday.
Ed Newark, who works at the Station Approach business, said the other owner is now selling the garage as a result of the accident but they are all just concerned about their boss.
“We’re just trying to tick over but as a result the owner has decided to sell the business as it just wouldn’t be right without him,” he said.
Mr Newark said his boss, who he did not want to name, went on to the ceiling to get one of their cats which was in the unit next door.
But the plasterboard caved in and he fell about five metres, sustaining a serious head injury – the mechanics rushed in when they heard the noise before calling the emergency services at around 2.20pm.
A police officer stopped the game at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium which had just started so the air ambulance could land on the pitch.
Members of the crowd helped by telling the paramedics where to go but it was a solemn atmosphere at the ground.
The garage co-owner was stabilised at the scene before being taken to the helicopter on a stretcher across the pitch to the crowd’s applause for the casualty and air ambulance staff.
Banbury United chairman Phil Lines said there are suggestions to hold a collection at the next home game for the man and said all of their thoughts are with his family.
“Everyone just put the football to one side and just waited very patiently,” he said.
Mr Lines added that they were lucky the game was on as the ground would have been locked up and the air ambulance could not have landed so close to the garage.
Ground director at the club, Nigel Porter, helped police stop the game and described the man as ‘very nice’ and a ‘good neighbour’ who often fixes their tractors and services their cars.
“I’m going to go around and offer my condolences and find out his progress myself,” he said.
Mr Newark said the co-owner is still in the intensive care unit at the JR and thanked all the emergency service personnel who were ‘great’.