Northern Ireland

Co Tyrone man who survived high-speed head-on collision with lorry appeals for Air Ambulance NI support

Oliver Kerr and his family

A Co Tyrone man who survived a high-speed head-on collision with a lorry is appealing for support for a service that helped save his life.

Oliver Kerr from Carrickmore was driving his van on the outskirts of Coalisland when he was involved in a serious collision in December 2022.

The father-of-four sustained extensive crush injuries and broken bones across his body from his head to his toes, but was still conscious and in a huge amount of pain.

The NI Ambulance Service and the Air Ambulance were both tasked to the scene, as well as NI Fire & Rescue Service who had to cut Mr Kerr out of his van before he could receive treatment.

He was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast in a journey time of just 15 minutes.

Just over a year after the crash, Mr Kerr is speaking out about his ordeal and has praised the care he received that day.

“I spent three weeks in hospital and I am still recovering from my injuries.

“I was released on Christmas Eve which meant everything to be at home again with my family.

“I will always be incredibly grateful to the service and ask that people support the charity in any way they can.”

The NI charity Air Ambulance first launched in 2017.
The NI charity Air Ambulance first launched in 2017

The Helicopter Emergency Medical Service crew operates every day of the year, with around 60 call-outs in December alone.

Over the past six years, crews have been called out on more than 4,000 occasions.

Glenn O’Rorke, HEMS operational lead, said, “During the winter season the profile of missions reflects the time of year and people’s activity.

“For example, we may be called out to less sporting accidents at this time of year, but more road traffic collisions.

“Whatever has caused the critical emergency situation, our commitment to the public is to be there, day in, day out to look after the people of Northern Ireland.”

Kerry Anderson, head of fundraising at Air Ambulance NI appealed to people to “play your part by donating or subscribing a loved one to our charity membership, Club AANI”.

“The HEMS has been operational for six years and during that time has been called out on over 4,000 occasions.

“It is provided by way of a partnership between the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and the charity, Air Ambulance NI.

“Each day the charity needs to raise almost £7,000 to sustain and develop the service.

“You can contact the charity directly on 028 9262 2677 or by email on”