Dunfermline, Scotland – The greaving family of a father-of-three have told of their torment after he was left dying on a bus for almost five hours in Scotland.
Gavin Wudinge, 31, got on a Stagecoach bus at around lunchtime on December 23 in Dunfermline, Fife, headed for Leven, before suffering a heart attack around half an hour later.
Gavin was missed by two different drivers and left alone at station for 90 minutes.
He was left slumped and dying on his seat in the middle of the bus for almost five hours and was missed by three different drivers before being found with no heartbeat by a passenger in Edinburgh.
Paramedics battled to save him and managed to restart his heart after 30 minutes. Police have also launched an investigation into the death but believe there are no suspicious circumstances.
The much loved father’s family, who have been shown CCTV of Wudinge from the bus, spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at his bedside before he lost his fight for life.
Relative Lesley Irvine, who was at Wudinge’s hospital bedside throughout the ordeal, told STV News: “If they found him at the first stop at Leven there would have been a high chance he would have been found alive.
“He was just left on the bus for hours and hours after having a heart attack.”The feeling in the family is not that we’re looking for blame. It’s just devastation. We just want an answer, or an explanation or an apology.”
Wudinge lay undiscovered from around 1.10pm until 5.55pm the same day.
He was left alone on the bus for an hour and a half at one stage as it was parked and put out of service at Leven before the driver was switched and it then headed to Edinburgh.
Only after arriving in Edinburgh and drivers changing once again was the dying father found by a passenger.
“His mum couldn’t breathe when she saw the CCTV of the bus yesterday,” Ms Irvine said.
“If Gavin was found at Leven then he’d still be alive today and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
Wudinge’s family, including his mother who had travelled from Ireland, spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the much loved father’s bedside before the life support machine was turned off the next day.
Irvine said: “On December 23, Gavin got on a bus at Dunfermline at 1.09pm. We’ve seen the CCTV. At 1.36pm, he falls face down on to the seat next to him. We know now he had a cardiac arrest.
“The bus then continued and stops at Leven, the final destination. That’s where Gavin had been going.
“Everyone gets off and the driver parks the bus and it’s put out of service for an hour and 28 minutes.”
She added: “Then the drivers are swapped and the bus is put back into service to head to Edinburgh. The bus gets to Edinburgh and stops and the drivers are switched.
“At 5.55pm a passenger found him (Gavin) lying on the bus alone and says to the driver I don’t think that guy is just sleeping.
“They called an ambulance and the paramedics came and and found that his heart was stopped when they arrived.
“They worked for half an hour to resuscitate him and after 30 minutes managed to get his heart started again.”
Wudinge’s cousin, Derrick Dodo, believes his death was avoidable.
He said: “What I can say is if they had found him when it got to Leven, before they took the bus off the route, I think he would have had a good chance. I don’t know about survival, but a good fighting chance.”
He said that viewing the CCTV from the bus yesterday was particularly distressing for the family.
He continued: “That’s when we found out the bus was taken off the service and it was parked while Gavin was lying there.
“It was hard for Gavin’s mum to take, she was crying and the police were comforting her.
“It was hard to see for me as well. Seeing my auntie like that was devastating.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said:”Police in Edinburgh were informed of the death of a 31-year-old man, who passed away within the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh on Monday December 26, having been found seriously ill on a bus at Edinburgh Bus Station on Friday December 23.
“Inquiries are ongoing, however, there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding this death and a report has been sent to the procurator fiscal.”
A spokeswoman for Stagecoach said: “A passenger on one of our services on December 23 was discovered in a serious medical condition upon arrival in Edinburgh.
“Our driver alerted bus station staff who contacted the emergency services.
“Our thoughts are with the family of the young man involved and we are providing any assistance that we can to the police who are looking into the circumstances.”