Family tell of 'miracle' biker's fight to survive during three days in ditch
LYING seriously injured in ditch water for three days and nights, motorcyclist Anthony Margrave shouted in vain for help as traffic thundered past.
Mr Margrave, 40, could not move and prayed someone would hear his cries from the 6ft-deep ditch alongside the busy A614, near Goole.
Mr Margrave's family and friends had joined police searching a large rural area after he failed to return from a ride on his powerful new Kawasaki motorbike.
His niece Leah Margrave, 28, was among dozens who searched day and night for him.
Our transparent fixed sales fees set us aside from the competition, offering full Estate Agency Service for a fixed fee regardless of the value of your home.
Contact: 01482 423365
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
She was among the search party when debris from a motorbike led police to her uncle, who was suffering from hypothermia, dehydration and serious injuries.
Leah, a mother of three, says it was a miracle he was found alive.
She said: "He had been shouting 'help, help' but no one came.
"He was just hoping to God that someone would find him, he just wanted to be found alive."
Police had "pinged" Mr Margrave's mobile phone in an attempt to narrow the search in the large rural area. It is believed the phone ran out of power.
A police helicopter was also called in to scour the area for the father-of-two, who lives alone in Rawcliffe Bridge and had been reported missing by his girlfriend.
Leah said: "He was conscious for a lot of the time. He spent three-and-a-half days in the ditch, unable to move.
"He was aware of traffic going past but he was not able to make anyone aware he was there. At one point, he heard horses go by.
"He was just hoping and praying someone would find him."
Mr Margrave's sister-in-law, Elaine Margrave, a nurse, rushed to the scene when he was found
Leah said: "Elaine went down and did some basic checks on him.
"She was concerned his stomach was distended and he had been vomiting old blood. She was concerned he might have internal injuries. Obviously, he had hypothermia and he was dehydrated. He was in a really bad way."
Leah said the fire brigade rescued Mr Margrave from the ditch on a stretcher, using ladders to haul the stretcher up.
She said: "He didn't remember a lot of what happened. He didn't remember what had caused the accident."
Leah had been terrified her uncle would not be found alive when he was missing for three nights.
She said: "As day had turned to night for the three days he was missing, the weather had been against him. Knowing he had been outside in wet and cold weather was absolutely terrifying, thinking was he going to make it out alive."
As Leah searched day and night, she was among many who drove past the scene not realising Mr Margrave was there.
She said: "I have driven up and down that road but being a busy road, there was nowhere to pull over to look. You feel absolutely awful that we didn't stop there. You think 'Oh God, why didn't we check that bit?'
"The police pinged the phone but it was a wide radius and he could have been anywhere."
Mr Margrave is being treated in hospital for serious injuries.
His brother Colin Margrave, 59, of Carlton, said: "He has done dramatically well to survive.
"You do fear the worst but he's a big strong lad. He works for a company that makes breeze blocks and is physically strong.
"I just cried when I was told he had been found alive."
Police believe Mr Margrave's motorbike hit a signpost on the offside of the road, travelling a further 200m before he landed in the ditch on the evening of Tuesday, September 11.
Anyone with information about the accident, close the junction of Selby Road and Reed Holme Lane on the A614, should call police on 101, quoting incident 438 of September 14.