A delivery driver who was dragged along four streets as he tried to stop the thief who stole his vehicle shouted “stop or you will kill me because I am not going to let you have this van”.
Father-of-three Costel Tablan was left with broken ribs, back injuries and needed skin grafts on his feet after the offender snuck into his van as he dropped off a parcel in Doncaster on June 20.
The 42-year-old’s colleagues said it could have been much worse and have launched a fundraising campaign to help him get a new van and carry on working.
Mr Tablan described how he clung to the vehicle, which contained 130 parcels, as it sped away.
The thief refused to stop and he fell from the vehicle after managing to hold on for four streets.
Mr Tablan said: “It was a terrible moment. I shouted ‘stop or you will kill me, because I am not going to let you have this van.’
“I waited for a corner for him to brake, and held on to the door handle, but he tried to knock me into things on the street – I had to let go.”
Mr Tablan was taken to hospital with three broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder and ruptured discs in his spine, as well as needing skin grafts on both feet, his manager Dave Richards said.
“It could have been a lot worse – the injuries are bad enough as it is, but he is lucky to be where he is,” Mr Richards said.
“It’s a shock that there’s people out there doing things like this.
“I can’t imagine what he’s gone through with what happened, it’s not like he’s done anything wrong or tried to do anything dodgy, he’s just doing his job and someone has seen it as an opportunity to make money.”
Mr Richards has set up a GoFundMe page to help Mr Tablan, from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, buy a new van once he has recovered.
He said that Mr Tablan would struggle to get a new vehicle even with his insurance payout, and that any donations would be crucial in helping him get back to normality.
“It looks like he’s going to be in hospital for quite a while, and it’s even more stressful for him when he’s trying to recover, wondering how he’s going to get the money for a van,” Mr Richards said.
“The fundraiser will be massive in terms of getting him back on his feet and getting him back to work.”
The fundraising has already helped to raise Mr Tablan’s spirits, and he said he appreciated the efforts to help him recuperate.
“I am so thankful and overwhelmed from the bottom of my soul for all the support and care people are showing – thank you,” he said.
South Yorkshire Police said that the vehicle was discovered a short time later, after being set alight.
Their investigation into the incident is ongoing.
The fundraising page can be found at uk.gofundme.com/f/help-get-costel-a-new-van?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unknown&utm_campaign=comms_gfm+help-get-costel-a-new-van