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Chaos as 4 died in road race.

FIRST aiders and emergency services struggled to cope as four runners collapsed and died in a half marathon, an inquest heard yesterday.

Ambulances took up to 45 minutes to reach the victims through the runners. Helpers battled in vain to keep them alive during the Great North Run on Tyneside.

Deputy head Phil Lewis, 43, of Chester-le-Street, Co Durham, was given mouth to mouth resuscitation by a first aider.

Dedicated runners David Mahaffey, 43, of York, and Kieran Patching, 34, of Walderslade, Kent, also died.

Reuben Wilson, 28, of Leeds, collapsed as he ran to raise funds for a hospice caring for his nephew. He died despite efforts of a doctor in the crowd.

The hearing continues.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 6, 2006
Words:117
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