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Son praises binmen for quick response in helping his father and avoiding a tragedy

Ronnie Reid (left) and Kenny Gillies. Willie Urquhart/West Highland Free Press
Ronnie Reid (left) and Kenny Gillies. Willie Urquhart/West Highland Free Press

The son of an elderly dementia sufferer who was found lying on the ground in freezing conditions has praised two binmen for their prompt action which helped prevent a tragedy.

Ronnie Reid and Kenny Gillies were driving in a Highland Council refuse lorry in Ardvasar in Skye at about 8.25a.m on Hogmanay when they spotted Seoras Macinnes, 74, lying motionless in the driveway to his son’s house, having fallen on the ice.

They went to the aid of Mr Macinnes who was in the early stages of hypothermia and took a jacket from their cab to keep him warm.

Having recognised the casualty, who lives in the village, they then went to his son James’ house to alert him.

Mr Macinnes suffered a broken shoulder in the fall and is recovering in hospital in Broadford.

Mr Macinnes junior said his father had walked about a quarter of a mile from his own house before falling in the driveway, some 10 metres off the road. He said he was spotted around 8am in the village and believes he had been lying in the driveway for several minutes before being discovered.

“It was freezing cold that morning and the main road was treacherous, so I’m not sure how my father managed to get here.

“Ronnie and Kenny did a great job. They sat with him and kept him warm and then came and got us. All credit to them. Without a doubt it could have been a lot worse.

“It was 8am on Hogmanay so I don’t know when we would have gone up the driveway otherwise.”

Kenny Gillies (left) and Ronnie Reid. Credit Willie Urquhart WHFP

Mr Macinnes said he managed a get his father into a vehicle and drive him back to the house.

He added: “He’s old school and doesn’t moan about pain, he’s a minimum fuss type of guy. But we soon realised that it was a bit more serious. He’s doing well and is in a safe place.”

The actions of the binmen have also been praised by Skye councillor John Finlayson.

“Clearly the most important thing is that Seoras is recovering in hospital which is down to the alertness and quick thinking of Ronnie and Kenny, which certainly ensured that a positive outcome came of what could have been a tragic situation.

“I personally would like to thank them for what they did and also thank all our employees on Skye and Raasay for their support over the festive season as well as in recent months.”

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