A MAN suffered a fractured skull in a 40ft plunge on to a busy Wearside road.
The 53-year-old sustained fractures to his whole body after he fell on to a sliproad on the A690 at Houghton.
Police and the North Air Ambulance were called after shocked drivers saw the man fall from a wall attached to a footbridge at 4pm yesterday.
The road was packed with motorists making their way home from work in time to watch England’s Euro 2012 opening match against France.
The man, who is understood to be from the Houghton area, suffered fractures to his legs, feet, wrist and skull along with suspected chest injuries.
He was treated at the scene by paramedics, before the Air Ambulance flew him to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary where he remains in a critical condition.
The sliproad, which takes south-bound traffic between the junctions of Lake Road and Hetton Road, had to be closed and vehicles diverted while the emergency services helped the man.
The route was reopened to traffic by 5pm.
A spokesman for the Great North Air Ambulance said: “We were requested to assist at Houghton at 4.09pm and it came in as a report of a fall.
“We took him to the RVI because it has a major trauma unit and the journey took about four or five minutes.
“We had an anaesthetist on board who was able to administer treatment over and above what paramedics can offer and he was given drugs.”
One 23-year-old driver who came across the scene, close to Church Street Bridge, as he returned home from work, said: “The helicopter landed in Houghton Kepier School field and I saw as the person was brought from the ambulance, which reversed into the school, and then it flew off.”