Page last updated at 11:26 GMT, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 12:26 UK

Coroner praises courageous medics

Marine Jonathan Wigley
Marine Wigley "was immensely proud to serve", his family said

Medics who tried to save a marine's life after he had been hit by "friendly fire" in Afghanistan have been praised during an inquest into his death.

Jonathan Wigley, 21, from Hook in Hampshire, was shot by a US jet in December 2006 during battles with the Taleban near Garmsir, Helmand Province.

The ambulance carrying Marine Wigley came under fire as they were taken to safety, the inquest heard.

The medical team were described as "courageous and brave" by the coroner.

Andrew Walker, Assistant Deputy Coroner for Oxfordshire, said: "Marine Wigley would have been instantly unconscious from the severity of the injury he sustained and would, in my view, have not regained consciousness and would have passed away very quickly indeed."

'Severe injuries'

Ambulance crew member Sgt Steven Sodeau was thanked for his bravery by Mr Walker.

He told him: "You would not have known at the time that the injuries he sustained were so severe that not even prompt expert attention could have saved his life.

"You leave here with my thanks, and I also wish to record how courageous and brave your team were to go under fire to those injured to make sure they got the best medical care they could."

Marine Wigley's company, 45 Commando Royal Marines, were involved in trying to dislodge Taliban forces in Garmsir.

The battle had already been raging for seven hours by the time Marine Wigley was injured.

Marine Wigley was born in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, and grew up in Grantham, Lincolnshire.

His parents Clive and Sharon are attending the inquest in Oxford, which is expected to conclude this week.

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