PARAMEDICS took 12 minutes to arrive at a car crash in which a teenage driver died, it has emerged.
Abdul Sajjad, 17, was killed when his Ford Fiesta span out of control and slammed into the back of a parked van in Regent Road on Sunday night.
Ambulances should reach three-quarters of life-threatening calls within eight minutes.
But ambulance service bosses said the crash was only prioritised by a second 999 call and protocol was followed.
One of the first passers-by at the scene described frantic attempts to try to help Abdul and his two passengers.
“I didn’t see it, I just heard it,” said the 38-year-old, who did not wish to be named. “Even then I called police because it sounded different to a car crash – it sounded like an explosion.”
The cleaner from nearby Abbeyhill rushed to the scene to see what he could do to help.
“I quickly turned the corner to see what had happened and saw the mangled car,” he said. “There was a bus driver checking on the driver and the front seat passenger.
“The car was in the back of the van and the impact had pushed it off the road and into a wall. The driver’s door of the car was bent over and touching the road and off the hinges.
“The back axle was buckled and the wheels were on the ground. Half the car was on the pavement and half on the road.
“There was a nurse driving past who got out to help. She also phoned for an ambulance and called the hospital too.
“The bus driver was constantly checking the driver’s pulse but couldn’t find one.”
A 21-year-old rear seat passenger suffered multiple fractures and a 15-year-old front seat passenger escaped with cuts and bruises.
“They took the front seat passenger out first and put him in the back of an ambulance. Then firefighters cut the boot of the car off to get the rear seat passenger out.”
He added: “If they’d arrived sooner then who knows, his chances of survival could’ve been greater. It was a massive impact though and I couldn’t even see the steering wheel on the driver’s side.”
A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We would like to offer our sincere condolences to the patient’s family for their loss.
“We received a call at 21.26 hours on Sunday, September 3 to attend a collision on Regent Road, Edinburgh. At that stage, the call was classed as not being immediately life threatening based on the information available. Following a second call at 21.31, during which we received further information, the incident was upgraded to life threatening and we arrived within seven minutes at 21.38.
“We dispatched three ambulances, a consultant-led trauma team and a Special Operations Response teams to the scene.”